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Articles by Dan Pens

Federal Prisons Erupt

At least five federal prisons erupted in violence within days after a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to overrule a recommendation by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to end the 100 to 1 sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine offenses. Information on the uprisings was sketchy ...

WADA Squeezed Out of Existence

The Washington Appellate Defenders Association (WADA) ceased operating on July 31, 1995, because the nonprofit firm and the state could not agree to terms for a new contract. Patricia Novotny, WADA's assistant director said, "Our decision wasn't, not to re-sign [the contract], but was a decision not to ...

Texas Anti-Litigation Law

In its 1995 session, the Texas legislature passed a bill that amends and modifies Subchapter B, Chapter 15 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, purportedly to combat "frivolous or malicious litigation filed by inmates." By now PLN readers should be familiar with this type of legislation. Highlights of the ...

From the Editor

Welcome to another edition of PLN. We have published continuously for five and a half years now. A lot of people write and ask the same question, "Gee, how did you guys do it?" The answer is simple, hard work and persistence. It's pretty much the same tried and ...

From the Editor

Thanksgiving can be a tough holiday to celebrate inside a prison cage. This will be my fifteenth. The first few were mostly about self-pity. As I became more politically conscious, however, Thanksgiving took on a different meaning. It traditionally commemorates starving European conquerors giving thanks for the hospitality and life-saving ...

Editorial

Welcome to another issue of Prison Legal News. This issue marks another step in our evolution. For the past year Paul and I have struggled to edit the content of the newsletter, trying as much as possible to keep the fluff out in order to make room for more case ...

CA Prisoners Assault Prison Office

On May 5, 1995, at 9:45 am, five prisoners at the Calipatria maximum security prison walked into an "A Facility" program office and stabbed a sergeant. Three other guards rushed to her aid and they too were stabbed in a brawl that rolled through the office. It was not ...

From The Editor

From the Editor

by Dan Pens

Paul says I can only have a thousand words; we have backlog of articles and cases waiting for space. So I'll get right to it. We recently started including a Adrop card in every issue. Sorry if they fall out and make paper ...

The New Politics of Crime

Those who command state power have honed their craft over the ages. The smart ones learn the tricks of their trade by studying the "science" of politics whereby they can benefit from the accumulated knowledge of centuries. One of the tricks that rulers employ is that of creating the bogeyman ...

Editorial

by Dan Pens  

Welcome to the special 28-page 5th anniversary issue of PLN. With this issue we begin our sixth year of continuous publishing. Our first issue was ten pages, typewritten, photocopied and mailed 1st class to 75 readers. A lot has happened over five years. As we have grown ...