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Constitutional Law

Inmates and Religious Adviser Sue Over Jail’s Postcard Policy, Except for Attorney Mail

Posted Sep 14, 2011 7:25 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Seeking to save money and make it easier to monitor inmate mail, a Utah jail earlier this year started limiting mail to postcards, except for communications with lawyers.

However, the postcard policy is unconstitutional, because it restricts inmates' speech and religious expression, contends a federal lawsuit filed by several prisoners and a Mormon bishop who serves as religious adviser to at least one of them, reports the Deseret News.

Attorney Brian Barnard of Salt Lake City represents the plaintiffs. "It does not take a constitutional scholar to understand that an inmate should be allowed to communicate with his religious adviser in a private letter and not on a tiny postcard that can be read by anyone who handles it," he tells the newspaper.

Officials at the Cache County jail and the county sheriff could not immediately be reached by the newspaper for comment.

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