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.
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