Mississippi sued for restricting prisoners' access to books
JACKSON, Miss. - A southern Mississippi prison and the Mississippi Department of Corrections are being sued for limiting inmates' access to free books.
A lawsuit filed Thursday by the Mississippi Center for Justice and law firm DLA Piper argues that a policy change at South Mississippi Correctional Facility violates the First Amendment by only allowing inmates to receive religious books for free.
Nonprofit Big House Books mails books and educational materials directly to Mississippi inmates, usually at no cost. But beginning last May, the prison in Leakesville began mailing the books back.
When questioned, the facility said only religious books could be mailed for free to inmates. They said all other books could be donated to the prison library or purchased by inmates.