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From the Editor

Welcome to the first issue of PLN for 2007. With this issue, PLN now enters it?s 17th year of publishing. We have several important goals for the coming year so we can better serve our readers. Among them are expanding the size of the magazine to bring readers still more news and information. In the past we have expanded based on increasing the amount of advertising in PLN and we hope to do this in the future, maintaining our commitment to having no more than 25% of our content being advertising.

If you know of any businesses who might be interested in advertising in PLN or which cater to prisoners please send their contact information to PLN so we can follow up on it. By the same token, if you patronize any of PLN?s advertisers, please tell them that you saw their ad in PLN as it encourages them to continue advertising with us.

Our other goals are updating our mailing list program and further improving our website and increasing our outreach activities to build our readership. PLN currently has over 5,000 subscribers and we hope to significantly increase it in the coming year.

By now all readers should have received our annual fundraiser mailing. I hope you will have taken the time to respond to it and send a donation.
Our goal is to raise $40,000 to upgrade PLN?s technical needs. We have two matching grant donors who will match, dollar for dollar, all donations up to $25,000 from non-prisoners and who will give $2 for every dollar donated by or on behalf of a prisoner! But we must receive these donations by January 31st to meet the matching grant. So far, as this issue goes to press, we have only raised $14,305 of what we need. If you can make a donation please do so now!

One of our other goals for the year is to expand the selection of books that PLN distributes. We get a lot of letters from prisoners asking for more books beyond the ones we already distribute. Some of the problems in expanding our list are logistical (we only have so much room to store books in our office, as we prefer to have on hand copies of all the books we sell), the other is getting a better idea of what readers are interested in. We may wind up with a simple numbers system to determine the latter and drop any title that doesn?t sell more than say a dozen copies in a year.

One of the titles we will definitely be distributing by the end of the year is Prison Profiteers: The Political Economy of Mass Imprisonment which will be published by the New Press and which is being edited by PLN board member Tara Herivel and myself. Among the articles in this book, which is a comprehensive overview of the players who profit financially from having 2.3 million Americans imprisoned, is this issue?s cover story on the prison phone industry by Steve Jackson. We have a great line up of many of the best criminal justice writers in the United States. Some of the articles in the book have previously appeared here in the pages of PLN, others are exclusive for the book. We will announce when it is published and ready for shipping.

Please continue sending us your story ideas, news tips, verdict and settlement wins and other items of interest to PLN readers. I apologize for the fact that we cannot respond individually to every piece of mail that we receive. But we do read it and reply as needed. Please do not send us your legal pleadings or documents, if we need more details we will ask, and note that we lack the resources to provide legal advice or assistance. Publishing PLN and bringing readers information to help themselves and to build a prisoner rights movement is all we have the resources to do at this time.

If you believe in an independent penal press I hope you will take the time to send a donation to our matching grant campaign.

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