Another Seattle law-related publication is folding its tent, but, unlike Washington Law & Politics at least, Prison Legal News will continue to publish elsewhere. In a cost-saving move, the current April edition is the first produced solely from the East coast.
Edited by onetime Washington inmate Paul Wright, PLN last month quietly closed its Seattle offices, where it had published since 1996. Wright, who moved East and in 2004 opened an outpost in Vermont, has now made it PLN's home office. "The consolidation," he says, "comes as part of an effort to reduce costs and overhead associated with having two offices on separate coasts."
Wright's once tiny, mostly two-person newsprint mag has grown to a robust 50-plus pages with a regularly updated website, five-member staff, and a team of freelancers. It reports on corrections issues and prison lawsuits. Among PLN's crusades was its vow to name the anonymous four-member execution team at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla last year, prompting the team to resign. The paper also took on Attorney General Rob McKenna's move to limit inmates' access to public documents, and won $541,000 from McKenna's office in a separate legal action.