LOS ANGELES -- On Oct. 5, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California sent a letter to Sheriff Bob Brooks of Ventura County condemning his practice of forbidding inmates from sending non-legal mail by letter.

According to the ACLU/SC’s letter, the postcard only policy conflicts with California law that requires that prisoners without funds be permitted to send two letters a week. In addition, this severe restriction on prisoners’ ability to send mail is inconsistent with their First Amendment right to do so. Moreover, the postcard only rule is bad policy because limiting prisoners’ correspondence can lead to mental instability and violence in the jails.