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From the Editor

In this issue of PLN we report the filing of PLN's lawsuit against the federal Bureau of Prisons for their blanket ban on PLN at the ADX facility in Florence, Colorado and our suit against the Florida Department of Corrections for their blanket ban on PLN, the denial of due process in their censorship practices and their practice of punishing prisoners who write for PLN and other publications in exchange for payment. Both lawsuits have generated fair amounts of local and national publicity in terms of the ongoing suppression of free speech rights of publishers and prisoners alike by prison officials.

Unfortunately, PLN is in the vanguard nationally combating prison censorship. We remain dedicated to the idea that any prisoner in America should be able to receive PLN. In these times, this is a pretty radical idea. It is especially disheartening that it has fallen to a very small non-profit like PLN to fight these battles while the corporate media, who are also affected by these practices, sit on the sidelines doing nothing.

These lawsuits consume enormous amounts of staff time and resources, which means we lack the time and resources to work on other issues. We require the ongoing support of our readers to be able to mount these battles. If you have not yet donated to PLN, please do so now. As these lengthy First amendment battles prove, free speech isn't cheap.

As I mentioned in last month's issue, I was released from prison in December, 2003, after spending the past 17 years imprisoned. I am in the process of getting up to speed on various computer and other forms of technology, including online research. I expect the changes of being able to do PLN's research and prisoner rights advocacy unencumbered by prison censorship and restrictions will greatly improve PLN's content in terms of both timeliness and quality.

Despite the efforts of prison censors, PLN's circulation continues to grow. We now have over 3,700 subscribers in all 50 states. Hopefully we will have more than 4,000 by this time next year. Lacking the funds to do direct mail campaigns, word of mouth and efforts by our existing readers greatly help us in expanding our readership. Know someone interested in prison issues or prisoner rights litigation? Let them know about PLN. We are happy to send subscription flyers and information to anyone on request.

Enjoy this issue of PLN and please encourage others to subscribe.

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