Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jail's postcard policy ends

Posted on Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 10:02 AM

A new mail policy is in place at the Spokane County Jail, and it looks awfully similar to the one that existed last year around this time. But it looks very different than the one that prompted a successful lawsuit from Prison Legal News, a prisoner-rights advocacy magazine published by the Human Rights Defense Center.

Last September, the jail instituted a mail policy that allowed only postcards to be sent in and out of the facility, as well as just 14 approved magazines, including Reader’s Digest and Wired. Prison Legal News was not on the list, which prompted the lawsuit.

“Basically, they banned our books, our magazines. They banned everything from us,” Paul Wright, the magazine’s founder and editor, told The Inlander in March.

After settling with Prison Legal News for $230,000, which was approved by a federal judge last week, county commissioners ordered the jail to lift its arbitrary ban on publications and to allow letters to come in and out of the jail.

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