Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

From the Editor

By now all PLN subscribers should have received their annual fundraising letter. Subscription and advertising income alone does not cover the cost of producing each month’s issue. Most importantly, it does not cover the cost of the advocacy we do on behalf of prisoners and their families – for that we rely on donations from our readers and supporters. And thanks to your support we have achieved some major victories so far this year, including spurring the Federal Communications Commission to cap the cost of interstate prison and jail phone calls after the FCC had failed to act on the Wright Petition for over a decade.

But a great deal of work remains to be done and we must continue our efforts to ensure that the FCC’s order is implemented and to extend it to intrastate (in-state) phone calls. If you are someone who reads PLN but does not subscribe, please take the time to make a donation. If you can’t afford to give, ask friends or family who can make a donation on your behalf. We need to raise at least $60,000 this year to fund our part of the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice; we co-founded the campaign with two modest grants from the Funding Exchange and the Proteus Fund, plus donations from our supporters. We have built considerable momentum and need your help to keep it going.

This is also a great time to consider buying books from PLN either for yourself or as a gift. PLN subscriptions make great holiday presents, too. Your support makes a real difference!

This month’s cover story on the importance of media coverage of prisons and jails serves to remind us that Prison Legal News is the only publication dedicated exclusively to reporting on criminal justice-related issues, and that 95% of our content is written by current or former prisoners. When I started PLN in 1990 there were at least 50 independent prisoners’ rights publications nationally. Today very few remain. For PLN to continue bringing you the news you want, we need your support – which includes not only donations but also subscribing and encouraging others to subscribe.

If you read someone else’s copy of PLN, consider getting your own subscription. The higher our subscription numbers the lower our per-issue cost, which means we can keep our subscription rates low. In 1990, a one-year subscription to 10-page issues of PLN was $10 while today, 23 years later, an annual subscription to 64-page issues of PLN is just $30. We fight to keep our costs down, but postage and printing expenses are constantly rising and we also have to pay our writers. If you believe in an independent prison media then you need to help support it, because in America nothing – and no one – is free.

I would like to thank our readers who send us copies of verdicts and settlements in the cases they win. Please do not mail us pleadings until after a case has been resolved on the merits, because we lack the resources to return them or to provide assistance. Let us know when you win or settle cases as those are the ones most useful to our readers.

Also, please be concise when contacting PLN because we have limited staff and receive a huge volume of mail. Important things like address changes can get overlooked if they are mentioned in passing in a long, rambling letter.

Everyone at PLN and the Human Rights Defense Center wishes our readers a happy holiday season and best wishes for a new year of continued struggle.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login