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From the Editor

Welcome to the New Year. This will mark PLN's thirteenth year of publishing, and we hope to make significant strides in terms of increasing both PLN 's circulation and its size. We need an additional $500 per month to add four pages to PLN . As soon as we get that we will expand to 40 pages to bring you still more news and information.

By now subscribers should have received PLN 's 2001 fundraiser and reader survey. If you haven't donated to PLN's matching grant campaign, please do so. Those donations and the matching grant campaign cover PLN's operating expenses to bring you this magazine each month. To date, we have raised $ 5,684. We need to raise an additional $ 9,316 in order to qualify for the full $15,000 matching grant amount. We need to raise the additional funds by March 31, 2002, to qualify.

I'd like to encourage readers to answer our reader survey. The last survey we did was in 1999. I remember one subscriber who said she had thrown hers away because "no one reads the answers to those things." I can't speak for other publications but both I and PLN 's office staff read each and every survey response. In fact, it was due to the high number of respondents who said they wanted to read more about habeas litigation that we added Kent Russell's column "Habeas Hints" and Walter Reaves' "Post Conviction Update." If you have not returned the survey yet, it's not too late to do so. We will tabulate the survey results and the matching grant campaign outcome and report both in the May 2002 issue.

Already the "war on terrorism" has become a war on civil liberties and a bail out for the rich. The Department of Justice has enacted rules allowing federal agents to read legal mail and listen to legal phone calls made to attorneys by people accused of terrorism offenses. Attorney General Ashcroft said he is shifting the Deptartment of Justice's resources from investigating and prosecuting civil rights and environmental offenses to "terrorism investigations." Studies had already shown that civil rights violators had the lowest rate of investigation, prosecution, and conviction of any federal crime, and it is not as if environmental laws are strictly enforced in the U.S. PLN will report on the legal mail/attorney call rule in next month's issue.

Two more PLN projects are close to completion. Later this year a major publisher will release Prison Nation , a follow up to PLN's critically acclaimed anthology, The Celling of America .Prison Nation will include a number of original articles that have never before appeared in PLN . We will announce the book's availability as soon as it is printed. PLN expects to distribute Prison Nation before it is available in stores.

Readers have inquired about PLN's annual indexes, which used to appear in our January issue. We are working on a cumulative index that reports over 170 different subject categories for all articles that have ever appeared in PLN . We expect to have the index finished and ready to ship by next month's issue. We will announce its availability when it is ready.

Recent months have seen an increase in prison officials around the country censoring PLN .PLN has recently filed suit against prison officials in Washington and Kansas (details of these suits will be in next month's issue of PLN ) and the Millard County Jail in Utah. We are in the process of finding counsel for censorship litigation in four other states. If you are a prisoner subscriber and any mailings from PLN are censored, please send all documentation that you have on the censorship to PLN .

While PLN is legally entitled to notice of censorship, our experience has been that prison officials frequently do not provide such notice. Many times the only notice that PLN receives that it has been censored is when our readers inform us of the censorship and send us the relevant documentation. PLN aggressively pursues all cases of censorship. First, we attempt to resolve problems administratively with the agency involved and if that is not successful we seek and retain counsel to litigate the matter. Enjoy this issue of PLN and encourage others to subscribe.

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