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From the Editor

Welcome to the first issue of Prison Legal News for 2012. If you have not yet donated to our annual fundraiser, it is not too late to do so. We rely on donations from our readers to fund the work we do on behalf of human rights in the U.S. prison system. I would like to thank all those who have already donated.

This month’s cover story on lifers covers an important issue largely neglected by the corporate media, which is the story of those who are leaving prison in body bags due to life sentences. While the death penalty is in decline in the U.S., the penalty of death-by-incarceration is on the rise in a massive experiment never seen before in human history, in which tens of thousands of people are condemned to die a slow and lingering death by incarceration.

Over the years hundreds, if not thousands, of our readers have written us letters telling us how PLN has helped them help themselves, provided information they needed and otherwise bettered their existence. We are seeking to compile a more complete list of the ways that PLN helps prisoners, and I think the best way to do so is for readers to tell us in their own words how our publication has improved their lives. If you are a current or former prisoner and PLN has helped you, please send us a clearly written, legible letter no longer than 2 pages describing how PLN has been useful.

One of our goals for 2012 is to expand the number of book titles that PLN distributes. We have received many requests for more law and self-help books, and will be researching the lists of available titles. By summer we expect to add a significant number of new books to our existing list.

Enjoy this issue of PLN and please encourage others to subscribe. The more subscribers we have, the lower our per-issue printing costs – which means we won’t have to increase our subscription rates as often.

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