Martinez v. Maketa

Criminal Justice | Freedom of Expression & Religion
Case No. 10-CV-02242
ACLU Case No. 2010-14


UPDATE: December 20, 2010: El Paso County Jail agrees to drop its "postcard-only" policy.

This class-action lawsuit challenges a new policy of the El Paso County Jail (effective August 2, 2010) that bans prisoners from sending letters and instead restricts their outgoing correspondence (other than "legal mail") to 4" X 6" postcards supplied by the jail.

The policy severely limits the space available for prisoners' written correspondence and also chills prisoners' willingness to communicate sensitive personal information.

The ACLU argues that the policy unjustifiably limits the First Amendment rights of the prisoners as well as their free-world correspondents who wish to receive the prisoners' written communications.

The El Paso County Jail is the second jail in Colorado to adopt a postcard-only policy for outgoing correspondence. The ACLU's challenge to a similar policy of the Boulder County Jail was filed in early August, 2010.


David Fathi , ACLU National Prison Project
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director
Rebecca Wallace , ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney

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