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From the Editor

PLN 's cumulative index is now available. The index has almost 500 different subject categories for all articles reported by PLN . No more time spent looking vainly for cases or articles under various topics. PLN 's new indexing system is designed for the serious researcher and litigator. Aside from being an excellent resource and guide to past issues of PLN , the index is also a fine stand alone research guide simply because we have reported all significant cases and prisoner wins since our inception in 1990. The new index is extremely easy to use as well as providing a lot of detailed information. Over two years in the making, the cumulative index is finally available. We will update the index on a semi-annual basis from now on.

Between 1996 and 2000 PLN published its annual index in the
January issue. However, as PLN grew, so did our index, so that by 2000 it was
taking up more than half the issue. It was also difficult to use as an annual index by the time we had published for over ten years since it required multiple indexes and going back and forth to use it. The new cumulative index resolves all those problems. It allows users to pinpoint the information they need quickly, intuitively and easily. See the ad on page 4 for ordering information. We welcome feedback from users on how we can improve future versions.

This issue of PLN notes recent censorship lawsuits PLN has filed against the Oregon and Kansas DOCs over their censorship of PLN . As we have reported in the past, PLN has successfully sued prison systems in Washington, Utah, Alabama, Nevada, Michigan and Oregon over censorship issues. If you are a prisoner subscriber and your subscription to PLN is censored please inform us, as all too often prison officials do not notify PLN of the censorship. We ask that prisoners whose PLN subscriptions are censored to exhaust whatever administrative remedies they have and send PLN the documentation. At that point, PLN will contact the relevant prison administrators to attempt to resolve the problem, and if that fails, we will forward the documentation to our legal counsel and initiate litigation. Proper documentation has been one of the key elements to PLN 's success in its litigation. PLN will replace at no charge an undelivered issue of PLN for every month that a prisoner files an administrative grievance. If an administrative grievance isn't filed about a missing issue of PLN with a copy of the paperwork sent to PLN , we will charge the backorder price of $5 if a subscriber wants a copy of a previous issue.

Remember that PLN 's logo contest continues through September 1, 2002. We are looking for a logo to use on our stationary and masthead. All entries should be sent to PLN on paper or via e-mail. We will announce the winner of the contest, who gets a free three-year subscription to PLN , in an upcoming issue of PLN .

PLN 's other projects are also proceeding forward. Our new book, Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor, should be available by Christmas. Edited by Tara Herivel and myself, it will contain extensive material never before published, analyzing how the poor bear the brunt of the criminal justice system. We will announce the book's availability as soon as it is published. We are also continuing work on PLN 's website to have all our back issues and extensive case information available in an easy to use, accessible format. We will let our readers know when it is ready.

We are in the process of expanding PLN 's book selection. We now have the paperback editions of Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted by Barry Scheck, et al., for only $9.99, the new, revised States of Confinement: Policing, Detention and Prison by Joy James for only $19.95, and No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System by David Cole for only $15.95. Note that we are now charging a flat rate of $5 for postage and handling of book orders, due to the postal rate increase and our new policy of requesting proof of delivery, which we enacted to better combat censorship.

We strive to distribute quality books at affordable prices, but in some cases only hardback books are available and we have to wait until a paperback edition is published. As soon as a paperback is available we switch over to distributing that. We will announce new changeovers and additions as they are made.

We would still like to expand PLN 's size to 40 pages and are working to develop the funding to do so, either through advertisers or donations. Anyone who would be interested in assisting PLN to expand its content can do so. For only $500 a month PLN could add four pages to its current size to bring readers still more prison and jail related news and information. We can also do so by advertising, which would require adding roughly one page of paid ads on a regular basis to subsidize our expansion.

PLN relies on donations from our readers above subscription costs to continue publishing. If you can make a donation please do so. We hope you enjoy this issue of PLN .

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