Justice Department Enters Free Speech Suit on Behalf of Inmates

By: Associated Press and WTVY
By: Associated Press and WTVY

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department believes a South Carolina jail is violating inmates' free speech rights by barring them from any reading material other than the Bible.

The government on Tuesday sought to join a lawsuit against the jail. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit against the Berkley County jail in October.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles wrote in court documents the government thought it was necessary to intervene because of the constitutional issues at stake.

An attorney for Sheriff Wayne DeWitt says she is surprised to learn of the Justice Department's involvement and has asked to meet with Nettles. Sandy Senn says since June 2009, inmates have been allowed to receive any type of religious material as long as it
meets certain physical requirements.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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