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Articles by Dan Pens

From the Editor

Greetings and welcome to the 100th consecutive monthly publication of PLN . Who knew when Paul Wright and Ed Mead put out the first rough and tumble issue of PLN in May 1990, that it would flourish and prosper for 100 months? Certainly not the Washington prisoncrats who initially tried to ...

Convict Mine Labor in the Information Age

One hundred years ago the U.S. economy was in the heyday of its Industrial Age. Steel was king. Railroads, machine tools, heavy manu- facturing. All fueled by coal.

Some of that coal was hacked out of the earth by companies in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia that utilized convict `.lease ...

Cheaper to Exile Prisoners?

The state of Connecticut closed its Northeast Correctional Institution (NCI) in July 1997 in a budget-cutting move. Just seven months later, state legislators called for the governor to reopen NCI because of overcrowding in the state's other prisons.

But the administration of Gov. John G. Rowland claims that it ...

DARK NIGHT Field Notes

DARK NIGHT field notes

DARK NIGHT field notes is a most excellent quarterly magazine chronicling progressive struggle. Why I had never been exposed to this zine before, I don't know. Issue #11 (its focus on prison struggle) found its way to my desk, and after reading it I knew ...

Prisoner 'Stress Response Syndrome' Described

The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) and related court rulings have raised imposing obstacles to prison civil rights litigation, effectively gutting class action claims against overcrowding and other conditions of confinement. Increasingly, courts require a showing of how such conditions are violating the constitutional rights of individual plaintiffs, rather than ...

From the Editor

Once again, I come to you with greetings, good cheer, and to beg for money. This time, however, I'll show you the PLN budget in black and white. But before I do that, let me give you the bottom line and let you know what you can do to ...

Oregon's Prison Slavocracy

What I propose is, that as we embark on this massive prison construction program, we try a new approach -- convert our "warehouses" into factories with fences around them. To do that we must change our thinking and change the reactionary statutes that stand in the way. I believe the American ...

From the Editor

Greetings and welcome to another issue of PLN . If you haven't seen, ordered, or read a copy of The Celling of America (TCOA), well... you don't know what you're missing. It took a while, but I finally got my copy. I let my cellie read it and ...

Doing Life: Reflections of Men and Women Serving Life Sentences. Portraits and Interviews

by Howard Zehr

Book Review by Dan Pens

What does it mean to face a life prison sentence? That question holds a unique meaning in Pennsylvania, where more than 3,000 men and women are doing life. In Pennsylvania the only way out of a life sentence is commutation, and ...

Slavery in South Carolina

What is the difference between a good slave and a bad slave? The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) knows: Good slaves "continue to work and stay out of trouble".

Below is the full text of a memorandum addressed to the South Carolina "inmate population" and signed by SCDC Director ...