Published: Sep 21, 2010 8:08 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 21, 2010 5:08 PM EDT

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union says a Panhandle jail's policy of limiting inmates' outgoing mail to postcards violates their free speech rights.

The ACLU and the Florida Justice Institute filed a federal lawsuit on Sept. 13 on behalf of three Santa Rosa County Jail inmates, who had complained about the policy. They claim restricting outgoing mail to postcards infringes on the privacy of inmates. The groups claim the practice began in July. They want the inmates to be allowed to send letters in envelopes.

The sheriff's office did not immediately return telephone messages left by The Associated Press.