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From the Editor

This month's cover story is by long time PLN contributing writer Mike Rigby. I am pleased to announce that in December, 2006, Mike was released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after 13 years of imprisonment. He will continue contributing articles to PLN as his new schedule allows. It's good to have our contributors and writers get out of prison and be able to, if not meet them yet, at least talk on the phone. Texas is the only prison system that does not allow its prisoners to have telephone access.

Last month's issue of PLN had a cover story on the prison telephone industry and the ongoing outrage of the kickbacks paid by phone companies to prisons and jails in exchange for exclusive monopoly rights to gouge consumers by charging outrageous phone rates. No sooner had that issue of PLN been mailed than incoming governor of New York Elliot Spitzer announced, upon assuming office on January 8, 2007, that he was not going to renew the New York state prison system's phone contract with MCI when it expires in April, 2007, and any new contracts would forgo the more than $20 million a year in kickbacks now paid by MCI. Hopefully there is no change of heart between now and April. PLN will be reporting the story in full in an upcoming issue. This is a tremendous victory by the friends and families of New York prisoners and the Center for Constitutional Rights whose lawyers and advocates waged this successful litigation and public education campaign against one of the most formidable players in the prison industry.

I hope that all those who could afford to, donated to PLN's matching grant fund raiser. As this issue goes to press we are still around $10,000 short of meeting our matching grant goal of $25,000. As previously noted, two anonymous donors will match every dollar donated, by non prisoners, up to $25,000, dollar for dollar. For donations from or on behalf of prisoners, they will match such donations at a rate of $2 for every dollar donated. The matching grant campaign ends on January 31, 2007. We will announce the result of the campaign in next month's PLN.

We are working on our goal of increasing PLN's paid advertising by two full pages so we can increase our page size to 56 pages. If you know of any businesses that might be interested in advertising in PLN please send us their contact information so we can reach them and tell them about PLN. If you patronize any PLN advertisers, be sure to let them know that you saw their ad in PLN so they will continue to advertise. Hopefully we will have a bigger issue of PLN for our readers, at the same price.

Advertising has paid for PLN's size increases over the past 8 years. Every page of paid advertising means we can bring readers three full pages of editorial content. PLN is one of the best bargains in news publishing now and we want to make it better. Help us grow so we can bring you more news and information!

Enjoy this issue of PLN and let others know about us.

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