Prior to his incarceration Conrad Black was, in addition to being a huge media owner, also a noted historian and biographer. Which makes his perspectives on the American carceral state more rounded and grounded in a historical perspective than that of many other prisoners. I hope our readers find his views both interesting and informative as we continue our dialogue on contemporary criminal justice issues. I interviewed Conrad while he was out on bail, shortly before he returned to federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. He was finally released from the Bureau of Prisons in May of this year.
We have previously reported on the Prison Phone Justice Campaign, and asked that prisoners submit their comments to the Federal Communications Commission to ask that the FCC take action to cap the rates charged for phone calls made by prisoners across state lines. See the ad on page 39 of this issue for more details. Since we first ran the ad in the June issue of PLN, 118 letters have been posted to the public docket section of the FCC. If high prison phone rates have negatively affected you and your loved ones, please take a few minutes to write to the FCC and ask them to stop this injustice. The more people impacted by high prison phone rates who file public comments, the more likely it is that the FCC will act. Non-prisoners can post their comments online as well.
This month we are launching our annual fundraiser appeal. Unlike many other non-profits, we do not constantly bombard our readers or supporters with pleas for money. Instead we only do so once a year, which keeps our costs down and is less of a burden. The cost of a PLN subscription does not cover all the expenses of publishing the magazine nor maintaining our operations. To do so requires donations from readers and supporters above and beyond the cost of a subscription. Buying books from PLN also helps. Looking for that perfect gift for a prisoner who is limited in terms of what they can receive? A book from PLN is the perfect gift, and we have added several new titles recently; one of the new books is reviewed in this issue.
PLN continues to be censored by a number of prisons and jails. We recently settled our censorship case against the New York State Department of Corrections, whereby they agreed to deliver our books, pay damages and stop censoring PLN. We will report the conclusion of that case once the matter of attorney fees is resolved. In the meantime, if you are a state prisoner in New York and your PLN subscription or book orders from PLN are censored, please notify us immediately so we can take appropriate action.
As we enter the holiday season, please encourage friends and family members to donate and subscribe to PLN, or to order the books we distribute.
Enjoy this issue of PLN.
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