The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Mississippi told BuzzFeed News Thursday that they were concerned about the legality of the policy.
"We have been contacted by family members who would be impacted, we have reviewed the policy, and we have serious concerns regarding its legality," the ACLU said in its statement. "We are considering all options.”
David Fathi, the Director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project, told BuzzFeed News the policy was "completely unprecedented" and "almost certainly unconstitutional."
"In my 20 years of working in prisons and jails, I have never seen a policy that even approaches the level of restrictiveness of this policy," Fathi said.
He said the by forbidding pastors from visiting inmates, the policy likely violated a federal law — the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act — that protects the religious exercise of prisoners. It was also in possible violation of the First Amendment, Fathi said.