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From the Editor

by Paul Wright

With last month's issue of PLN we reached an all time circulation high of 4,051 subscribers. This is the most subscribers PLN has ever had. Considering we started with 75 subscribers in 1990, that is a lot of growth. But considering there are over 2.2 million people locked up in American prisons, jails, civil commitment centers, juvenile and immigration detention facilities and military prisons, this is a small number indeed.

Increasing our circulation has been an ongoing project since we started. With increased circulation comes lower per issue printing and postage costs. More importantly comes greater impact and a wider dissemination of the vital information we distribute. A lack of funds has prevented us from doing sample mailings and other measures that would boost our readership.

A key component to PLN's goal of public education around prison and jail issues is and has been the internet. In recent months we have revamped our website with the professional assistance of our web designer, Carlos Batista. We are adding many new features on an ongoing basis that will both serve our existing readers and bring our message to many more people.

Within the next few weeks all 180 back issues of PLN will be online on our website, indexed and in a searchable format. We will also have the text of all court cases we have reported as well several thousand more prison and jail cases we have not reported in PLN, either because they were issued before PLN began publishing or we lacked the room to publish them when they were issued. We will also have a brief bank with pleadings and briefs on a wide variety of topics related to detention facility litigation. Other features will include a list serv, guest book and forum. The website can be viewed at People can order books, subscriptions and make changes of address online.

As we add new features we will let internet users know as well as make periodic announcements here in PLN to inform our readers of new developments. Our goal is to become the best prison and jail related website and to provide a significant tool for the advocates of prisoners and lawyers representing prisoners to use. In our fifteen years of publishing we have reported an amazing treasure trove of information, the bulk of which has stood up well with time. By bringing this information online we will make it available to more people than ever before.

Next month will mark the 15th anniversary of publishing PLN. If anyone would like to advertise in our special anniversary issue the ad and payment must be received in our Seattle office no later than April 15, 2005.

This issue reports on developments in two lawsuits filed by PLN to ensure prisoners in Washington and the Bureau of Prisons ADX facility can receive PLN and the books we distribute. We are grateful to Jesse Wing and Tim Ford at McDonald, Hogue and Bayless for their excellent and tenacious representation of PLN in PLN v. Lehman and to Mickey Gendler of Gendler and Mann and Bill Trine of Trine and Metcalf for their skilled and dedicated counsel in PLN v. Hood. We will report the final outcome in both cases. As these censorship lawsuits illustrate, there is a lot more to publishing PLN than just writing stories and putting a magazine together and mailing it. We are the only publisher in the United States that consistently fights for the rights of our readers to read and receive PLN.

Donations and ad revenue makes up only a portion of the funds PLN needs to publish each month. If you can afford an additional donation, we welcome your support. It is much needed and goes to the essentials of publishing PLN each month and ensuring readers receive it, even if we have to get an injunction to ensure delivery.

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

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