Archive for the Category »PrisonLegalNews «

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Criminal Reality Trumps TV fiction…

One of the TV dramas that occasionally catch my eye is “Law & Order.” The other day, one was presented as a fictionalized account of a juvenile judge who sold justice for his private profit.  It was far closer to reality than some viewers may have imagined.

Judge Ciavarelli...

The current issue of the Prison Legal News (PLN, Nov.2011), features an article by Derek Gilna on two Pennsylvania judges that played the real “Cash for Kids” and were subsequently convicted and sentenced. more…

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Heroes, Dogs, Screws & Blues…

A prison publication started at the same time as I started my own sentence (and personal newsletter, the Communiqué) back in 1990, is the Prison Legal News by Paul Wright.

The PLN is a remarkable 56-pg monthly compendium of prison and legal news. More remarkably, for its first 13 years it was written and edited by Paul from inside the Washington State prison system. more…

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Prison Legal News & Paul Wright…

Among one of the most inspiring stories of my 20 years in federal prison, is that of the Prison Legal News.  This foremost prisoner rights and news journal was started by two Washington state prisoners, Paul Wright and Ed Mead in May of 1990.

Prison Legal News

Prison Legal News

The PLN was initially a 10-page, typed and stapled production with 75 subscribers.  When Mead got out in ‘93, he was replaced by another co-editor, Dan Pens.

As one might imagine, this enterprise was against considerable opposition over the years by the prison systems, along with no small measure of internal problems and disputes.

One of those disputes in 2001 involved the outside office manager, Fred Markham, who stole more than $19,000 of PLN’s money.  That represented all the financial assets of the magazine.  Markham had spent 27 years in Texas and Washington state prisons; you’d think he’d know better. more…