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From the Editor

9-11 Immigration Detainees

NJ Sex Offender Website

Florida Guards Acquitted

Parents' Project

S.Ct. on Civil Commitment

$3.5 Million Nevada Settlement

Damages in Michigan Smoking Case

Legal Mail Bans

$2.8 Million TX Boot Camp Award

Texas Guards

California Parole

News in Brief

When people think of the prison
system, they usually think of adults in jail and prisons. The tens of thousands of children in juvenile prisons are rarely considered. In last month's PLN , we reported on the abuse of juvenile prisoners in Kentucky. This month, we report on happenings with Corrections Service Corporation, one of the biggest for profit prison companies in the U.S. that specializes in juvenile prisons. As many states have outsourced their juvenile prisons to private companies, we explore the intersection of greed, profit, child abuse and the human rights of children, the most vulnerable population in the American gulag. Upcoming issues of PLN will explore this topic further.

A whole generation of legislators, pundits and bureaucrats have made careers out of demonizing youth and pushing for more draconian punishments rather than crime prevention and rehabilitation measures. The result is a growing number of imprisoned children being abused in horrific conditions designed to act as a feeder system into the adult prison system.

Imprisoned children are uniquely vulnerable in that they rarely have the means or ability to assert or protect their rights. They are almost totally at the mercy of their captors and all too often their captors are a merciless bunch who see their young charges as little more than a cash cow to milk.

With this issue of PLN we are pleased to add Denise Johnston as a quarterly columnist to cover family and children issues affecting prisoners. Denise is the director of the Center for the Children of Incarcerated Parents in Eagle Rock, California and a longtime advocate for prisoners' families. If juvenile prisoners are the invisible prison population, then the children and families of prisoners are the invisible casualties of the criminal justice system. We would like to try to change that by regularly reporting on these issues.

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks the government assault on civil liberties has accelerated. In this issue we report on the plight of immigrants swept up in the government dragnet and who remain imprisoned almost a year after the attacks, even though none have been charged with involvement or support of the attacks. A small blip of success on the horizon is that in parts of the country efforts to censor prisoners mail to and from their attorneys has been largely defeated.

Upcoming issues of PLN will report on the continued assault on the attorney client relationship. As this issue of PLN is going to press the government, in mid June, announced that a month earlier it had arrested Brooklyn born Jose Padilla and was accusing him of being a terrorist. Padilla is being held without charges, without counsel, as a military prisoner and the government's position is that he can be detained indefinitely as an "unlawful combatant." A term which has no legal meaning. When George Bush Jr. first advanced the idea of trying opponents of American foreign policy before military tribunals it would supposedly be limited to foreign citizens. In eight months that silently segued into the indefinite detention without charge or counsel of U.S. citizens. In the past PLN has reported on countries like Peru where political opponents were tried for "treason" before anonymous military tribunals, without notice of the charges against them after meeting with their lawyers minutes before the hearings and then being sentenced to life in prison after a one or two hour "trial". The defendant's lawyers were also convicted of treason based on their client's alleged misdeeds. Now it looks like we'll be reporting on the same topics here in the U.S.

PLN is continuing to add new titles to its book distribution list. We will announce new books as we add them. We are also committed to providing high quality books at affordable prices. As soon as paperback editions are available of the books we carry we will start to distribute them as they are more affordable. We have just added one book on Hepatitis since a lot of PLN readers have written us with questions about the illness and proper treatment for it. See page 33 for details.

Enjoy this issue of PLN . As always, we need donations to continue our work. If you can afford to make a donation, please send one to help support PLN 's publishing efforts. If you like what you're reading in PLN , remember that with more income we can expand our page size and bring you still more news and information. Please encourage others to subscribe.

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