A prison inmate has asked the LDS Church for assistance after he was given 10 days in solitary confinement for making a list of gifts he gave to other prisoners.

Craig W. Nicolson, an inmate at the Territorial Correctional Facility, said he was simply adhering to tenets of his LDS faith, which calls for tithing, or giving away a portion of one's money and goods.Corrections officers searched Nicolson's cell last month and found a list of food and personal hygiene items and names of fellow inmates. He was punished for violating prison rules prohibiting bartering between inmates.

"An inmate gives items to other inmates, and six months later changes his mind and says they stole them, and the fight is on," corrections department spokeswoman Liz McDonough said.

After serving his time in solitary confinement, Nicolson wrote a letter to church leaders.

"I respectfully solicit your help concerning this matter," Nicolson wrote. He called the prison's action "a violation of my basic civil rights . . . regarding religious freedom."

Don LeFevre, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said a response to Nicolson's letter is being prepared. He would not elaborate but offered little encouragement for Nicolson, who is serving time for forgery and two escapes from a community corrections facility.

"I can say that one of the Articles of Faith of our church is that we believe in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law of the land," LeFevre said.