The track record of past contagious diseases in the U.S., as PLN has reported over the decades, is that long after non-imprisoned Americans have dealt with these illnesses, prisons and jails remain the petri dish or churning cauldron of disease that serves as a reservoir to continue infecting the nation. This has been the case with AIDS/HIV, where up to 25% of HIV+ people are jailed or imprisoned each year. It is true for HCV, where 40 to 60% of state prison populations have HCV even as the illness is fully curable. Prisons and jails are also epicenters for drug resistant strains of tuberculosis and Legionnaire’s disease. Maybe COVID will be different, or not.
The Human Rights Defense Center, which publishes PLN, also publishes and distributes books. Our book list changes periodically as new books come out and older titles go out of print. Sometimes prices increase as well since some publishers raise prices on older titles. We have updated our book list on pages 69 and 70. HRDC is also in the process of publishing several new titles including a major treatise on the Prison Litigation Reform Act, an updated diabetes manual and much more. We will publish updates as titles get closer to publication.
Many prisoners have purchased trial subscriptions to both PLN and Criminal Legal News as part of our COVID promotions. I hope you consider renewing your subscriptions at the regular rate once the promotion ends. The promotion is for a limited time period, until it runs out and operates as a first come, first served basis. Renewing subscriptions cuts down on our costs and staff resources and lets us focus on publishing the magazines. For 32 years PLN has brought prisoners news and information they can use and helped inform people outside of prison of what is happening within. At this point there is very little in the way of independent media that questions, much less criticizes, the American police state and the barbarism of its prisons and jails. If you think this is important you can help support it by subscribing to PLN and CLN and also by donating and encouraging others to do so.
Throughout the pandemic our legal team has been working hard to ensure prisoners can receive our publications. We have statewide censorship lawsuits pending against prison systems in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Arizona. We have sued over a dozen jails since the pandemic started, all of whom banned books and magazines. If you subscribe to HRDC publications or purchase books from us and they are censored by prison or jail officials, please file grievances documenting the censorship and let us know so that our legal team can take the appropriate action. Our goal is for any prisoners in the United States to be able to receive HRDC publications if they wish to. The right to free speech should mean something and that is what sets HRDC apart from other publishers. No other publishers are going to court to ensure prisoners can receive publications in the mail.
Another area of concern is the financial exploitation of prisoners and their families. If anyone has been released from a California, Oregon or Washington prison or jail in the past year and been given a JPay debit card and been charged fees to access their money, we are interested in filing suit to end this abusive practice. Contact HRDC, ATTN: Debit Cards or email or call our offices if this has happened to you and you are interested in being a plaintiff to end this practice.
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