(Left to right) Katy Morgan, Olivia Coté, Kelli Gann, Shelby Parsons and Kelsey Kitch created Big House Books to provide Mississippi inmates with literature for both education and entertainment. Photo courtesy Big House Books
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A south Mississippi county has agreed to allow inmates to receive non-religious reading materials, ending a lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett dismissed the case Friday, after Forrest County and a prisoners' rights group reached a settlement earlier this month.
Forrest County Sheriff Billy McGee agrees prisoners can receive books and publications from the Human Rights Defense Center and other recognized distributors. The center publishes Prison Legal News.
McGee agrees that he will only turn away publications "inconsistent" with legitimate interests. The center says McGee previously only allowed Bibles and Christian religious tracts.
McGee also agrees that if the jail refuses to deliver something, he will let the sender appeal.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections recently settled a lawsuit allowing Big House Books, a nonprofit that sends free books by request to inmates, to mail donated books to state prisoners.