The United States has a lengthy and sordid history of using prisoners for medical, military and other experiments. A practice that largely ended, but not completely, in the 1970s. The accompanying movie review of the documentary film Factor 8, on the blood mining practices of the Arkansas prison system until 1994 reports some of the reasons why the medical exploitation of prisoners is a bad idea. Sadly, at this juncture, PLN is one of the few organizations to oppose the use of prisoners as medical guinea pigs. We will report developments as they happen.
This issue continues our ongoing series of interviews with long time members of the prisoner rights legal community. Elizabeth Alexander, the director of the ACLU?s National Prison Project discusses her views on the prisoner rights movement and litigation over the past 30 years. We hope these interviews are informative to readers as well as inspiring to lawyers considering careers in public interest law. These are some of the unsung heroes and heroines of the American civil rights movement who are long overdue the recognition they deserve. Todd Matthews, the interviewer, is an excellent free lance journalist based in Tacoma, Washington, who has written for PLN, Washington Law and Politics and a variety of other publications in the past.
PLN?s annual matching grant fund raiser was due to end February 29 but because we were late getting it out and many readers did not receive their mailing until January we are extending it another month until March 31, 2008. Donations can be made by phone, mail or online. A donor has offered to match all donations received, dollar for dollar from non prisoners and $2 for every dollar donated by prisoners up to $15,000.00.
To date we have raised almost $11,000.00. If you can make a donation please do so in order for us to receive the entire $15,000 matching grant. No amount is too little or too big! We appreciate the letters of encouragement so many readers send with their donations. Your support makes possible the advocacy we do on behalf of prisoners, the censorship litigation and helps keep our subscription prices low and affordable. If you believe in an independent, uncensored prison press, please help support us financially by making a donation today.
PLN?s website continues to expand and now has almost 1,600 briefs, complaints and settlements on it, among other legal documents. Our database has over 11,000 articles and 6,000 court cases in it. We have the most complete, thorough and highest quality website of prison and jail related news and information anywhere in the world. Our website is receiving around 80,000 visitors a month. We encourage readers to visit our website. All our materials are designed for easy printing and mailing to prisoners. We soon hope to expand to multi media and include audio and video materials on prison and jail issues as well.
Our new book, Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration continues to generate positive reviews and generate impact on the topic. I hope readers consider purchasing a copy from PLN and encouraging your friends, libraries and others to check it out as well.
Lastly, prisoner subscribers who received the PLN reader survey should complete and return the survey as soon as possible so we can tabulate and report the results. We want to know what you want to read in the magazine and how we can better serve your needs.
Enjoy this issue of PLN and please make a donation to our annual fundraiser and encourage others to subscribe to PLN as well.
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