Judge Preliminarily Approves Deal in Kansas Jail Lawsuit

A federal judge has given her approval to a deal in a lawsuit filed against the Wilson County sheriff over his jail’s policy of allowing inmates to receive and send only postcards in the mail.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson preliminarily approved on Wednesday the class action settlement that would allow inmates to receive letters at the southeast Kansas jail. The jail houses an average of 40 people daily.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and the Social Justice Law Collective sued Sheriff Pete Figgins last year alleging the policy violated the free speech and due process rights of prisoners and the people who write to them.

A fairness hearing on the settlement is set for Oct. 25 in the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas.