From the Editor
by Paul Wright
Welcome to the last issue of Prison Legal News for 2014. By now, all PLN subscribers should have received our annual fundraiser letter, which includes our last annual report. If you have not yet made a donation, please do so. Unlike many other non-profit organizations, we do not constantly bombard our supporters with pleas for money throughout the year, which in itself costs money. We only do a fundraiser mailing once per year.
As 2014 comes to a close, our Prison Phone Justice Campaign is moving into high gear as we ask the Federal Communications Commission to cap the cost of intrastate (in-state) prison and jail phone calls. We urgently need your financial support to keep the pressure on the telecom companies and prisons and jails alike. We have devoted extensive resources and staff time over the past 4 years to this issue, and more is needed. We also need you to contact the FCC and tell them the time has come to cap the cost of intrastate prison and jail calls; see the ad on p. 2.
Even if you cannot afford a donation, please encourage others to donate to the Human Rights Defense Center and Prison Legal News to support the work we do on behalf of prisoners and their families. Some of that work is ground-breaking journalism on criminal justice issues, such as our cover story in this issue of PLN on JPay and how the company gouges prisoners and their families by paying prison and jail officials kickbacks in exchange for monopoly contracts that only allow prisoners to receive money via JPay. PLN worked extensively with the author on this story, and we continue to push on other critical, cutting-edge issues that are largely ignored by the commercial media but which affect prisoners.
Among other services that PLN offers is our free daily news email list. Every weekday we send email list subscribers a digest of 6-10 stories culled from across the Internet that deal with criminal justice reform and prison-related issues. You can sign up for free on our website at: www.prisonlegalnews.org/subscribe/email.
Our new site has many additional features it did not have in the past, including multimedia and photo galleries. Plus it contains all back issues of PLN (to May 1990), a huge brief bank and publications library, and over 27,000 articles related to prisons and jails. Check it out at: www.prisonlegalnews.org.
We also have a website for PLN’s parent organization, the Human Rights Defense Center, www.humanrightsdefensecenter.org, and we maintain a site with the prison telephone contracts for all 50 states, the BOP and many jails around the country, as well as information on phone tariffs, litigation, legislative and regulatory actions, and much more: www.prisonphonejustice.org.
We look forward to a new year of struggle and hopefully some positive change for prisoners and those enmeshed in the criminal justice system. If you can make a donation or encourage others to make one on your behalf, please do so; you can donate online to support our advocacy work, too. Also, books from PLN’s book store make great gifts, and this is the last month we are offering our Subscription Madness promotion – see the ad on p.49.
Enjoy this issue of PLN, and everyone at PLN and HRDC wishes our readers and supporters a happy holiday season and hope for a more militant new year.
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