HPNM

Hinds Juvenile Detention Center Comes Off Consent Decree As County Celebrates

In 2011, attorneys for the Southern Poverty Law Center and Disability Rights Mississippi accused Hinds County of putting “children in small cells for 20-23 hours a day and subjecting them to sensory deprivation,” adding that these minors “languish in their cells, receiving sporadic access to educational services and counseling services.” The accusations followed decades of reports of abuse inside the county’s juvenile system and only marginal solutions instituted and sustained over the years.

The SPLC and Disability Rights Mississippi attorneys, representing residents of the facility, filed a class-action lawsuit against Hinds County over how it ran the Henley-Young-Patton Juvenile Justice Center, complaining that children there “suffered abuse and live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.” The parties agreed to a consent decree that U.S. Southern District of Mississippi Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III signed in March 2012. Last month, on Oct. 13, the judge wrote that both plaintiffs and the defendant had agreed to terminate that decree.

Another judge in the same court, Carlton Reeves, appointed a receiver on Oct. 31, 2022, for the Hinds County Detention Center for adults, which is in Raymond, Miss. The judge wrote in July that “persistent deficiencies in staffing and supervision embolden gangs and encourage the widespread circulation of contraband.”

At a press conference on Monday, Oct. 31, Hinds County officials described the end of the consent decree for Hinds’ juvenile facility as a significant milestone and credited progress made over the years at the facility.

“It’s a great day,” Hinds County Board of Supervisors President Credell Calhoun told the Mississippi Free Press after the press conference Monday.

“We are also doing what we can to make sure that we take care of detainees, make sure that they are safe, and make sure that the staff is safe when they are taking care of the detainees,” he said at the press conference.

U.S. Southern District of Mississippi Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III removed Henley-Young-Patton Juvenile Justice Center from a court-ordered consent decree that had been in place since 2012. Photo by Kayode Crown

The facility’s executive director, Marshand Crisler, said that removing the

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