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From the Editor

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are seeing a steady flow of news about the numbers of dead in prisons and jails, the manipulation of statistics by government officials, and the availability, or not, of vaccines. We will continue reporting on all these developments, and much more. The Human Rights Defense Center, (HRDC) which publishes PLN, is still impacted by COVID-19 and our offices are operating at partial capacity with most of our staff working remotely. To date, none of our staff have contracted COVID-19 and we hope to keep it that way.

The post office has seen serious disruptions of service since the pandemic began early last year. We are seeing massive slowdowns in delivery around the country with all classes of mail. On our end we continue to process subscriptions and book orders as they arrive but first-class mail is taking up to two weeks to reach our offices.

Since HRDC publications and books are shipped via mail this impacts our outgoing mail as well. Making things worse, prisons and jails are processing mail more slowly than normal, thereby resulting in even more delays. Alas, the pandemic has not stopped prison and jail officials from censoring our publications. If any HRDC publications are censored, please let us know by sending us whatever notice you received of the censorship so we can take the appropriate action on our end.

Since February of last year Ken Silverstein has been the managing editor of PLN. He is leaving us to focus on investigative reporting. Our new managing editor will be Brian Dolinar. We will continue working with Ken and plan to run some of his stories in future issues. Brian is an Illinois-based journalist who has extensively reported on prisons, jail and police abuse coverage for more than 15 years. His articles have appeared in PLN and many other local and national publications. We have worked with him on issues that range from Prison Phone Justice to ending solitary confinement in Illinois. We look forward to working with Brian here at PLN.

We have a limited numbers of trial subscriptions available to both PLN ($1) and for Criminal Legal News ($3) to promote awareness of criminal justice issues. The trial rate gets prisoners a 6-issue subscription, after which we hope you will subscribe at the regular rates. The only criteria are that subscribers using the promotion cannot have ever been subscribers in the past to the magazine in question, and that they have one year or more remaining on their sentence. The trial rate is available for a limited period; once the subscriptions run out we will need to end the promotion.

As always, we rely on donations from readers and supporters to do all the work we do. That includes publishing PLN and CLN, distributing books, litigating to ensure prisoners receive written materials, and ending the financial exploitation of prisoners and their families.

We rely on support from people like you. If you can afford to donate, we need your support. If not, please encourage others to do so.

If you are reading this as part of a six-issue trial subscription, please consider subscribing to PLN and CLN. We are the only publications that report on the news that directly impacts people hurt by the criminal justice system, and provides them with news they can use. There is a reason the government spends so much time and energy trying to censor HRDC publications. They really don’t want people they lock in cages to know they have rights, and much less how to go about enforcing or vindicating those rights.

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