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PLN files suit against Cache County, Utah jail

Deseret Morning News, Jan. 1, 2004.
PLN files suit against Cache County, Utah jail - Deseret Morning News 2004

Deseret Morning News, Friday, December 17, 2004

Prison magazine sues Cache jail, sheriff

By Linda Thomson

Deseret Morning News

A prison magazine company has sued the Cache County Jail and sheriff for allegedly violating its First Amendment rights by forbidding inmates from getting magazines and newspapers through the mail.

Civil rights attorney Brian Barnard represents the nonprofit parent company of Prison Legal News, a national monthly magazine that is mailed at bulk rate to inmates throughout the country.

However, the Cache County Jail has a policy prohibiting inmates from receiving or possessing magazines and newspapers, including subscribers who have paid for Prison Legal News at the Cache County Jail, according to a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

The suit also asserts that that jail officials have rejected the magazine not only because of the policy but because of the type of paper on which it is printed.

The magazine contains information for inmates, including such things as articles on litigation trends and court rulings and decisions, the suit said.

Barnard contends the jail's policy deprives the magazine's parent company of its constitutional rights of free expression and due process, particularly since the magazine owners have not been given the opportunity to challenge the rejection of their periodical.

The suit also says this policy leaves Cache County Jail inmates with "no alternative means of exercising their free expression rights."



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