Chelan County Regional Jail officials have admitted to violating constitutional laws by withholding books, newspapers, catalogs, dictionaries, educational material and magazines from inmates. Chelan County Commissioner, Doug England said previous policy was to sort through materials before it was handed over to inmates, which amounts to government censorship and violates the First and 14th Amendments.
As part of a settlement between the jail and publishers, inmate mail policy has been revised and will be posted for prisoners.
England says the agreement also requires the county jail to pay $180 thousand to the publisher of the Prison Legal News, causing a headache for the commissioners as they wrap up the end of the year budget.
According to the Chelan County Regional Jail, the previous policy was implemented after finding contraband in books shipped to inmates.