First Amendment

Postcard-only jail mail policy is unconstitutional, federal judge rules


A federal judge in Oregon has found that a suburban Portland jail’s policy of allowing inmates to receive only postcards is unconstitutional, because it violates the First Amendment rights of both those who send and those who receive mail.

While the ruling applies only to the Columbia County Jail, it could be persuasive to other courts and potentially affect similar policies at many jails throughout the country, reports the Associated Press.

The AP says it is the first such ruling recognizing a right by inmates to receive mail such as legal documents sent by family members, children’s report cards and bills that needed to be paid, all of which had been prohibited by the Columbia County Jail.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Inmates and Religious Adviser Sue Over Jail’s Postcard Policy, Except for Attorney Mail”

Salt Lake Tribune: “Lawsuit against Cache County Jail mail policy dismissed”

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