Prison Newsletter Free to Circulate in California

California prison officials have agreed to stop blocking distribution of a newsletter that circulates to some 1,000 state prison inmates, in alleged violation of their First Amendment rights. The state will also pay $65,000 to settle their claims, with the money going to fund five-year subscriptions to 157 prison libraries.

A lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Oakland over the situation, but this was primarily to provide a vehicle for court approval of the settlement, reports AP. The newsletter had previously prevailed in similar suits in Alabama, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Prison Legal News, which is based in Seattle, has about 5,000 subscribers, 80 percent of whom are in jail or prison.

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