ABINGDON, Va. — The publisher of a magazine geared toward prisoners is suing a southwest Virginia jail for blocking inmates from receiving its publications.

The Human Rights Defense Center filed the lawsuit late last month in federal court in Abingdon against the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority, which operates four jails serving 10 jurisdictions.

The center publishes Prison Legal News, a monthly magazine that covers prisoners’ rights issues and other legal material. Its editor is a former prisoner.

The lawsuit claims that efforts by the publisher to send the magazine and other reading materials are thwarted by the jail and materials are either confiscated or returned to sender.

The suit says the jail’s policies regarding outside reading materials are arbitrary.

Jail officials did not return a call seeking comment.