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From the Editor

This issue marks the 14th anniversary of Prison Legal News. With this issue we will have published 169 issues. At this point, PLN is the longest, continuously publishing independent publication whose content is mostly written and produced by prisoners and ex-prisoners in American history. When PLN was started in 1990 no one expected it to last this long.

The past 14 years have seen the serious decline of the American penal press. In 1990 dozens of newsletters and magazines were focused on prisons, prisoners, prisoner rights and jail issues. California alone had almost a dozen. As the years went by and the prison populations grew, the prison press dwindled. Many prison systems also had in house publications that, while censored, in some cases produced excellent stories and, more importantly, allowed prisoners to gain and hone their writing skills which could be used in other writing endeavors. By now, few states still have any type of publications at all.

It is not for a lack of news. At this point PLN has just expanded to 48 pages, up from ten when we started in 1990. We have sufficient stories and material to fill our existing pages and then some. We are seeking to expand our advertising base in order to continue expanding our news content and bring readers still more news and information.

Over the years a great many people have contributed time, effort, skills, labor, money and energy to helping PLN start and continue. In many respects it has been a bumpy and long road with more than its share of trials and tribulations. But despite the problems encountered we have persevered and continued with our work where pretty much everyone else, for various reasons, dropped by the wayside. PLN's staff and board members would like to thank all those people who have helped and supported us over the years. Without that support, PLN's existence would not be possible today.

I am looking forward to continuing to improving PLN and better serving the needs of our readers. If you can help support PLN by making a financial donation, please do so. Enjoy this issue of PLN and please encourage others to subscribe.

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