University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name United States of America v. Leflore County, Mississippi JI-MS-0011
Docket / Court 4:15-cv-00059-DMB-JMV ( N.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On August 14, 2009, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) began an investigation of conditions at the Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center ("LCJDC") in Greenwood, Mississippi pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the Violent Crime ... read more >
On August 14, 2009, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) began an investigation of conditions at the Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center ("LCJDC") in Greenwood, Mississippi pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141.

On March 31, 2011, the DOJ issued an investigative findings letter concluding that conditions at LCJDC violated the constitutional and federal statutory rights of the youth confined there. The United States concluded that youth confined to LCJDC are: (1) exposed to excessive physical restraint and isolation as a means of discipline; (2) given inadequate educational opportunities; and (3) exposed to great risk of harm from inadequate mental health care, including inadequate screening, monitoring and treatment of suicidal youth. The letter noted that the DOJ hoped to work with the County to reach an amicable and cooperative resolution, otherwise a lawsuit may be initiated.

On May 12, 2015, the DOJ filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. The DOJ sued Leflore County of Mississippi under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Represented by its own counsel, the DOJ sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The DOJ alleged that, in the course of operating a detention center for children, the defendant County had violated the Fourteenth Amendment by practicing inadequate suicide prevention policies, failing to investigate abuse, and causing unreasonable risk to the safety and welfare of the minor prisoners. The day after the complaint was filed, the parties jointly moved for entry of a settlement agreement.

This case was originally assigned to Judge Debra M. Brown and Magistrate Judge Jane M. Virden but was reassigned to Judge Neal B. Biggers after Judge Brown recused herself on May 18, 2015.

On June 18, Judge Biggers granted the joint motion for entry of settlement agreement. The settlement required the defendant County to first conduct a policy review, submit to the DOJ alternatives to policies not accepted by the DOJ, and then implement the approved alternatives. The policy areas of focus were inmate intake, screening and evaluation, policies and procedures regarding mental health, medical history, education, classification, and orientation, the use of force, behavior management, the use of forced isolation as punishment, suicide preventions, and due process/grievance processes. The defendant was required to train its staff regarding these policy changes. Additionally, the County was required to submit a comprehensive action plan for implementation and give annual compliance reports. The agreement was to terminate after the defendant County achieved substantial compliance with all substantive provisions of the agreement and has maintained compliance for at least 12 months. The court was to retain jurisdiction to ensure compliance. As of July 23, 2018, there is no indication on the docket that the settlement agreement has terminated, so presumably, the case is ongoing for compliance purposes.

Richard Jolly - 11/18/2014
Jake Parker - 07/23/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Education
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Restraints : physical
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Leflore County
Plaintiff Description Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation of conditions at Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Filing Year 2015
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Data examining the Department of Justice's civil rights investigations of local and state police departments
Marshall Project
Date: Jan. 17, 2017
By: Tom Meagher (Marshall Project)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Date: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
Date: 2014
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program Faculty)
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Findings Letter (2011)
JI-MS-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2011
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JI-MS-0011-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/12/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement Between the United States and LeFlore County, Mississippi [ECF# 3-1]
JI-MS-0011-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/13/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Docket [PACER]
JI-MS-0011-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/18/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion for Entry of Settlement Agreement [ECF# 9] (N.D. Miss.)
JI-MS-0011-0004.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 06/18/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Re: Investigation of Compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act at Leflore County, Mississippi, Juvenile Detention Center
JI-MS-0011-0005.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 01/12/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Judges Biggers, Neal Brooks Jr. (N.D. Miss.)
JI-MS-0011-0004 | JI-MS-0011-0006
Virden, Jane M. Court not on record [Magistrate]
JI-MS-0011-0006
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Felicia C. (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0011-0002 | JI-MS-0011-0003
Coe, Cynthia (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0011-0002 | JI-MS-0011-0003 | JI-MS-0011-0006
Dean, Ralph M. III (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0011-0002 | JI-MS-0011-0003 | JI-MS-0011-0006
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0011-0002 | JI-MS-0011-0003 | JI-MS-0011-0005
Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0011-0002 | JI-MS-0011-0003 | JI-MS-0011-0006
Kappelhoff, Mark (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0011-0002 | JI-MS-0011-0003
Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0011-0002 | JI-MS-0011-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Chiles, Joyce I. (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0011-0003 | JI-MS-0011-0006
Hafter, Jerome C (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0011-0006
Mayer, Steven L. (Louisiana)
JI-MS-0011-0006
Stephens, John Morgan IV (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0011-0006
Other Lawyers Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0011-0001

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -