California prison officials have been sued for stopping the delivery of Bible study material to inmates.

Pacific Justice Institute filed suit in federal district court against officials who it says have denied prison ministries the right to send, and inmates the right to receive, Bible-related materials.

The law group says for years ministries have been able to send religious literature to inmates at a state prison in Corcoran, Calif., free of charge. According to PJI, recently prison officials changed their policy to exclude most types of free religious materials.

“Thereafter, the prison mail room would not deliver Bible study materials to inmates who had requested and were eagerly awaiting them,” the group said in a statement.

PJI says after prisoners and ministry workers appealed the new policy, to no avail, it sent legal demand letters to prison officials, which it says went unanswered.

The suit alleges the First Amendment rights of both the ministry and inmates have been violated.

“The prison officials’ restriction on inmates’ ability to receive life-changing Bible study materials not only defies logic, but it also defies the law,” stated Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute. “We look forward to vindicating the constitutional rights of these receptive inmates and this hard-working prison ministry.”

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