Should inmates be allowed to receive mail in jail? Well for a long time, the Columbia County Jail prohibited inmates from receiving certain types of mail including "legal documents sent by family members, children's report cards and bills that needed to be paid." Inmates at Columbia County Jail were only allowed to receive postcards from those who wished to contact them via mail.
Reason for the "Postcard Only" Policy:
The apparent reason many jails implemented this policy was to prevent contraband from entering the jail. This seems like a valid reason. However, the U.S. District Court Judge in Oregon named Michael Simon seems to believe that "the county's postcard only policy was not adopted in response to a known contraband problem."
Is this Policy Constitutional?
According to the Associated Press, Judge Simon issued an injunction that stopped this postcard only policy in 2012. Thereafter, on Thursday, the judge found that the jail's policy of allowing inmates to receive only postcards is unconstitutional.
Why Is the "Postcard Only" Policy Unconstitutional?
According to judge Simon the "Postcard Only" policy is unconstitutional because it "violates the First Amendment rights of inmates, the people who write them, and the plaintiff."
At this point this ruling applies only to the Columbia County Jail.
Should this Federal ruling also apply to other jails throughout the country who implement similar "postcard only" policies?
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