Judge to consider Berkeley County Jail's Bible-only ban

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Attorneys representing a publication they say is unconstitutionally banned from a South Carolina jail say officials have changed their policies numerous times to justify keeping the magazine out of inmates' hands.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney David Shapiro said at a hearing Tuesday that Berkeley County's policies initially banned all publications that weren't the Bible but now stress prohibitions on any nudity or staples.

The ACLU sued in October, saying the jail was violating constitutional rights of both publishers and inmates by rejecting Prison Legal News.

The lawsuit also challenged a policy that said inmates were allowed no books but the Bible, but jail attorneys say all religious texts are allowed as long as they meet other requirements, like the absence of staples, which they say can post security risks.

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