ATLANTA – Today, the ACLU of Georgia sent a letter to the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office regarding a complaint about an alleged new policy banning the Marietta Daily Journal in the Detention Center. Allegedly, on January 12, 2020, deputies at the Detention Center were ordered to discard Marietta Daily Journal newspapers “to prevent inmates AND staff from seeing the article about the jail.”
If the allegations prove to be true and without a lawful justification, then the new policy banning the Marietta Daily Journal – especially if created in response to bad publicity – potentially violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. Supreme Court has established that people who are detained have the First Amendment right to read a wide range of books and literature. The First Amendment prohibits viewpoint discrimination and encompasses the right of people detained in jail to receive the newspapers of their choice. Additionally, the First Amendment encompasses the right of third parties, such as the Marietta Daily Journal, to share publications with people detained in jail.
“Courts have consistently struck down bans on newspapers,” said Kosha Tucker, staff attorney of the ACLU of Georgia. “If a new policy banning the Marietta Daily Journal is in effect, we urge the Sheriff’s Office to rescind it immediately to protect the constitutional rights of everyone at the Cobb County Detention Center.”
Click here for the newest episode of the ACLU of Georgia’s podcast Liberty is Peachy in which Kosha Tucker, staff attorney with the ACLU of Georgia, talks about the allegation that Cobb County Sheriff’s Office is banning the Marietta Daily Journal at the Detention Center.