DOJ wants in suit on jail's Bible-only policy

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Justice wants to intervene in a federal lawsuit over a South Carolina jail's policy barring inmates from having any reading material other than the Bible.

South Carolina U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles in court documents filed Tuesday asked that a federal judge allow the DOJ to be a part of the lawsuit filed in October by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU wants to overturn the policy on behalf of Prison Legal News, a monthly journal on prison law. The ACLU says officials at the Berkeley County jail are violating the magazine's and inmates' constitutional rights including free speech, freedom of religion and right to due process.

A spokesman for the Berkeley County sheriff's office did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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