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From the Editor

by Paul Wright

Over the years, PLN has conducted a number of sample mailings to potential subscribers. This has always been a good way to expand our circulation, but such mailings are expensive to do. We have long recognized that our best outreach resource is our readership. To that end, we want to encourage readers to purchase gift subscriptions of PLN for prisoners, family members and friends, activists, organizations, libraries, schools, judges, attorneys, journalists, legislators and others interested in or affected by criminal justice policies. This allows us to target people that our readers think are important.

Other progressive publications have reported great success with this type of promotion. See page 11 of this issue for details. We hope that this will expand PLN 's subscriber base as well as our influence and impact. It is important to note that the gift subscriptions must be for people who are new to PLN and are not current or former subscribers. With the holiday seasons coming up, what better gift than a subscription to PLN ?

PLN 's new cumulative index and article summary, the result of over two years of hard work, has been available for several months now and we are receiving very positive feedback from those readers who have had the opportunity to use it. With almost 500 different subject categories, the new PLN index and article summary allow for quick, pinpoint accuracy in the location of articles and cases alike. This includes the state of origin, if the article involves a jail or the Bureau of Prisons and much, much more. If you use PLN as a research tool, you should seriously consider getting the index. See page 28 for details.

In addition to our index, PLN 's new book, Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor , edited by Tara Herivel and myself, will be available later this year from PLN . It is being published by Routledge Press in New York. In addition to these, PLN is moving forward on other projects. This includes a new website. PLN 's current website has recent back issues on it as well as subscription, advertising and other information. See: We will announce the completion of the new website as soon as it is available. PLN 's censorship litigation in Oregon, Washington, Kansas and Utah is also moving forward and we will report updates in specific cases as they occur.

The so called War on Terrorism continues to expand, now targeting those lawyers who defend suspects accused of political crimes. Lynne Stewart is a long time progressive lawyer with a distinguished history representing political prisoners and dissidents in this country. Her indictment is a clear effort by the government to attempt to muzzle the criminal defense bar.

In years past, PLN has reported how, in countries such as Peru, the government systematically targeted progressive lawyers who defended political prisoners for intimidation, assassination, threats, arrest and ultimately, life imprisonment, solely for the "Crime" of attempting to represent defendants accused of political crimes. Even after the U.S. backed government of Alberto Fujimori collapsed in a cesspool of corruption and mass murder, many of these same lawyers and their clients continue to languish in prison. It is significant that while carried out in foreign countries, such policies and tactics were frequently developed by American counter insurgency advisors and implemented at their behest. Thus it should come as no surprise when such practices are carried out in the U.S.

Right now PLN has a big backlog of great news and law articles to run. More of the solid, incisive reporting that our readers have come to expect and like. More material than we have the space to run at this time because we cannot afford to expand our size to 40 pages. If anyone can subsidize PLN 's expansion to 40 pages, for only $500 an issue, we can immediately expand to 40 pages. With recent postage increases, PLN 's expenses are going up. If you can make a donation to help offset those costs and/or allow us to expand in size, please do so. Enjoy this issue and encourage others to subscribe.

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