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Articles by Paul Wright

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

The financial exploitation of prisoners and their family is nothing new for readers of PLN. In the 34 years we have been publishing we have seen it spread across pretty much every interaction prisoners have with the outside world. But perhaps the longest running form of exploitation ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

The abysmal state of detention facility healthcare has been a staple of PLN coverage since our inception in 1990. If anything, it has steadily gotten worse over the years, but one factor that has driven the decrease in care has been the rise in private, for profit ...

Ed Mead: Rest in Power

by Paul Wright

Over the years the saddest duty I have as PLN’s editor is noting the passing of our friends and supporters. As PLN gets older, we are entering our 34th year of publishing with this issue, it seems like more people are dying. On November 6, 2023, PLN’s ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

As we close out the last issue of the year, our cover story on the Oregon prison nurse who was eventually convicted and sentenced to prison for raping women prisoners in his care illustrates the confluence of medical neglect and sexual abuse by staff, both of which ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

For almost a century the United States has waged its war on poor drug users, illegalizing alcohol, marijuana, opiates, cocaine, stimulants, hallucinogenic and other consciousness altering substances. I have never called this long running “war on drugs” either a failure or debacle. Its proponents have never bothered ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

The modern era of prison reform began in 1971 with the Attica Rebellion. Many Americans were horrified when New York state police and prison guards stormed the prison 52 years ago, in the process killing dozens of prisoners and hostages and wounding many more. The conditions that ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

As summer winds down our cover story reports on the impact of extreme heat on Texas prisons; in the next few months we will report more on what the heat did this summer in American prisons. For decades now Prison Legal News has been the only publication ...

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

The most striking thing about the American criminal justice system is its class-based nature. With one system of non-policing, lackluster prosecutions, lenient sentences and minimal consequences for the wealthy and another system of militarized policing, scorched earth prosecutions, draconian sentences and punishment that never ends for the ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

One thing that has remained a constant in the past 33 years of publishing PLN has been the woefully inadequate medical care that prisoners receive around the country. A significant portion of our coverage involves reporting on healthcare that ranges from nonexistent to barbaric and it drives ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

This issue of PLN marks our 33rd anniversary of publishing. Since we published our first issue in May 1990 we have seen massive changes in the American gulag, starting with its sheer growth from a million prisoners to over 2 million a decade later and a ...