ACLU Accuses Georgia Sheriff Of Illegally Banning Books From Jail

Apr 11, 2019

The American Civil Liberties Union says a Georgia sheriff is violating the rights of inmates at a county jail by prohibiting them from receiving outside books and magazines.

The ACLU sent a letter Wednesday to Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher asking him to rescind a policy that inmates may not receive books or magazines by mail or from visitors. The policy says inmates must choose reading materials from book carts managed by jail staff.

The letter by ACLU attorneys says the Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment not only grants inmates freedom of speech but also "freedom to read."

Wilcher said he believes the book policy is "well within the scope of the law" but he's willing to change it if county attorneys advise him to.