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Articles by Paul Wright

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

 

This month’s cover article discusses the current state of prison slavery in America. This has been an ongoing topic of coverage for Prison Legal News since we first started in 1990. The legal slave status of American prisoners is currently enshrined in the Thirteenth Amendment to ...

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

This month’s cover story is the latest installment on the prison profiteering industry monetizing how prisoners are fed. Perhaps not surprisingly, the cost of feeding prisoners is one of the lowest operating costs involved in caging people, with staffing being 80% or more of prison and jail ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

Karl Marx wrote that history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce. Sadly, the history of prison privatization in America is anything but farcical. Through much of the 19th century many prisons and jails in the US were privately operated or run with the prisoners being ...

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

Probably the biggest threat to the credibility of the American police state is that of wrongful convictions. American history has plenty of examples of prisoners being freed from lengthy prison sentences after being wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. But all things being equal those ...

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 ...