Author Topic: SPLC Wins Federal Class Action suit  (Read 852 times)

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Offline wdtony

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SPLC Wins Federal Class Action suit
« on: March 02, 2012, 06:04:19 PM »
Groundbreaking Settlement in SPLC Case Protects Incarcerated Children from Abuse in Mississippi

02/27/2012

Children and teens incarcerated in Mississippi will no longer be housed in a privately run prison or subjected to brutal solitary confinement under the terms of a groundbreaking settlement reached in an SPLC lawsuit.

The federal class action suit charged that conditions at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, which houses boys convicted as adults, are unconstitutional. The facility is operated by GEO Group Inc., the nation’s second largest private prison corporation.

“This represents a sea change in the way the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) will treat children in its custody,” said Sheila Bedi, deputy legal director for the SPLC. “As a result of this litigation, Mississippi’s children will no longer languish in an abusive, privately operated prison that profits each time a young man is tried as an adult and ends up behind bars.”

Under the proposed decree, the MDOC will be required to remove boys from the GEO-operated prison and house them at a stand-alone facility governed by juvenile justice, rather than adult, standards. The MDOC will be required to provide them with a broad variety of rehabilitative services and strong protections from sexual abuse and violence. The decree also categorically bars the state from subjecting young people to solitary confinement – the first time a federal court has banned the barbaric practice of housing children in long-term isolation.

“It’s been known for a long time that prolonged solitary confinement causes terrible suffering and psychiatric breakdown even in mature healthy adults – let alone in emotionally vulnerable children and teenagers,” said Margaret Winter, associate director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “Getting these kids out of the greedy hands of GEO is a big step forward, and the ban on solitary confinement in this decree is truly unprecedented.”

The lawsuit, filed in November 2010 by the SPLC, ACLU and civil rights attorney Robert B. McDuff, challenges notoriously abusive conditions in the GEO-run facility. The lawsuit describes the routine practice of GEO staffers peddling drugs to teenagers in their custody, subjecting them to brutal beatings, sexual exploitation and solitary confinement, and failing to protect them from violence at the hands of older, predatory prisoners. One youth suffered permanent brain damage as a result of an attack in which GEO staffers were complicit.

The consent decree will also require the MDOC to protect the adults who will be housed at Walnut Grove from physical and sexual abuse, violence, excessive use of force and prolonged isolation, and will require the MDOC to increase its oversight of GEO.

The consent decree still must be approved by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves in Jackson.

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/n ... om-abuse-i
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 06:09:48 PM by wdtony »
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Offline wdtony

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Re: SPLC Wins Federal Class Action suit
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 06:08:47 PM »
C.B., et al. v. Walnut Grove Correctional Authority, et al.

Popular Name:  Walnut Grove[/b]

Staff members at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi abused their authority by selling drugs to the youths in their care, brutally beating them and even engaging in sexual relationships with them. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against the for-profit prison operators on behalf of the teenagers and young men held at the facility.

The lawsuit describes a facility known for a culture of violence and corruption – a culture perpetuated by Walnut Grove’s management. In addition to the sexual relationships and selling of drugs, handcuffed youths were kicked, punched and beaten. Youths secure in their cells were blinded with chemicals. Other youths suffered multiple stabbings and beatings — including one who will live with permanent brain damage as a result of an attack in which prison staffers were complicit.

Co-Counsel:
Robert B. McDuff and The National Prison Project of the ACLU Foundation

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/c ... -authority
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline wdtony

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Re: SPLC Wins Federal Class Action suit
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 06:11:29 PM »
Comments from first article:


Comments (7)

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Betty on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 10:34.
I don't know who said this but I think it applies here. "Progress is a snail". elected officials should be responsible to the voter that prisons are humane and offer rehab services. it's really more cost effective in the long run.
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Jeff Shelton on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 14:23.
For almost 40 years it has been my privilege to support the Center in its work in behalf of marginalized, disenfranchised people. It is criminal that a state has been supporting through a contractor supporting such brutality in 2012. Thank you for once again achieving justice for those with no voice.
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Joseph L. Williams on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 14:33.
Why do we think we have the 'moral' authority or any other authority to criticize any other nation!
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Michelene Landseadel on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 15:43.
What an embarassment to our country! If anything it proves once again that unchecked capitalism results in human rights abuses. But, thank goodness, for conscientious efforts on part of the SPLC. You deserve a Congressional Medal of Honor for your valorous and sustained battle against the forces of greed and racism in America.
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Mary and Alan S on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 16:07.
Bravo! Your magnificent work continues to amaze. Especially in the case of Walnut Grove where conditions were beyond shameless and brought shame on all Americans.
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susan hall muelder on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 16:18.
I am proud to be a supporter of the SPLCi - thank you for standing up for these children.
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M. E. Schwartz-Hanley on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 16:44.
How is it that America has only 5% of the world's population but 25% of the worlds incarcerated? PRIVATIZATION! Everything directly impacting human lives should have to be not-for-profit or else the incentive is to keep people sick, stupid and in jail!! Thank you SPLC for fighting the good fight for the rights of prisoners, orphans, & immigrants. Ironically, that makes you a more Christian organization than most!
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« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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