the memory of James Quigley, a
long time contributing writer and prisoner rights activist who died in October, 2003. More details on his life and accomplishments are above.
We start this year of publishing PLN with a slightly new format change that allows us to include more articles in each issue of PLN. If you have not yet sent a donation or returned your reader survey form from the November issue of PLN, please do so. In an upcoming issue of PLN we will report the survey results.
Among our goals for this year are to increase PLN's circulation and advertising base to be able to both expand our size and impact. Combating prison and jail censorship continues to be an important, and time consuming task for PLN. We continue to have censorship problems with the Florida DOC censoring PLN based on the ads for discount phone services and pen pal services that we carry. Administrative efforts at resolution were unsuccessful and we expect to file suit on the matter shortly. The Bureau of Prisons ADX facility in Florence, Colorado, has maintained a blanket ban on PLN since 2000 claiming that any publication that mentions prisons or prisoners is somehow "prisoner correspondence." PLN filed suit challenging that practice in November, 2003 and next month's issue of PLN will report the details of these lawsuits.
Despite the effort of assorted prison officials, PLN's subscriber base continues to increase and last month was at a record high of more than 3,600 subscribers. We hope to continue expanding our circulaton.
The biggest news is that on December 16, 2003, I was released from prison after almost 17 years of captivity. I left the Minimum Security Unit of the Monroe Correctional Complex at 8:30 AM that day and arrived at PLN's Seattle office around two hours later. At noon Don Miniken, PLN's executive director, and I were having lunch with one of the attorneys and paralegals representing PLN in pending litigation to discuss our appeal in that case and at 2 PM I was back at world headquarters doing an interview on prison slave labor with Fox News. Since then it has been a matter of spending time with my family, learning to use new computer technology (among the technological changes that occurred while I was imprisoned were the internet, DVDs and cellphones). I have a steep learning curve ahead of me but I hope the end result is an even better and more improved PLN and advocacy on behalf of those who remain imprisoned.
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