University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Mississippi JI-MS-0004
Docket / Court 3:03-cv-01354-HTW-JCS ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
In 2002, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division ("DOJ") conducted investigations, aided by expert consultants in juvenile justice administration, psychology, medicine, education, and sanitation, at two military-style juvenile facilities ("Oakley" and "Columbia") operated by the ... read more >
In 2002, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division ("DOJ") conducted investigations, aided by expert consultants in juvenile justice administration, psychology, medicine, education, and sanitation, at two military-style juvenile facilities ("Oakley" and "Columbia") operated by the state of Mississippi. In June 2003, DOJ notified the state in a findings letter that the investigations revealed that the facilities deprived the resident juveniles of rights under the First, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1401, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794.

DOJ found that youth confined at Oakley and Columbia suffered harm or the risk of harm from deficiencies in the facilities' provision of (1) mental health and medical care, (2) protection of juveniles from harm (including physical harm from staff), and (3) juvenile justice management (lack of due process and adequate grievance procedures, untrained staff, mail/telephone/visitation inadequacies, and limited exercise opportunities). DOJ also found sanitation deficiencies at Oakley. In addition, both facilities failed to provide required general education services, as well as education to eligible youth as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The First Amendment violations were rooted in both facilities' requiring youth to engage in religious activities. The findings letter proposed a number of remedial measures for the state to adopt, offered to negotiate with the state to reach a resolution of the allegations, and stated that a federal lawsuit could soon be filed against the state if a negotiated settlement could not be reached.

On December 18, 2003, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the state (and relevant juvenile justice-related state officials and agencies). Among the allegations were the defendants' failure to adequately protect youth from harm and the risk of harm (including staff abuse) at these facilities, unreasonable isolation and restraint use, failure to provide adequate mental and medical health care and rehabilitative treatment, inadequate educational services, and failure to provide adequate special education services to disabled youth (mentally ill, those with intellectual disabilities, and learning disabled youth). The DOJ sought declaratory and equitable relief, relying upon authority granted by 42 U.S.C. § 14141.

In the meantime, in an originally-separate class action case filed April 13, 2004, against the state and involving these two juvenile facilities, a settlement had been reached to remedy the facilities' limits on juvenile residents' contacts with their attorneys. By the time the settlement was reached on January 12, 2005, that case had been consolidated with the DOJ's case pursuant to an unpublished July 12, 2004, order of Magistrate Judge James C. Sumner. Lawyers from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Mississippi Center for Justice had represented the juvenile plaintiff in the 2004 case, K.L.W. v. James.

Later in 2005, separate agreements were reached between the DOJ and the state to address the shortcomings at the juvenile facilities that were alleged in the 2003 DOJ lawsuit. In a May 4, 2005, memorandum of agreement, the parties detailed means of remedying deficiencies in mental health care, rehabilitative services, and special education. On June 9, 2005, the parties filed an agreement setting out remedial measures to address protection from harm, suicide prevention, and medical and dental care issues. Both agreements included provisions for compliance and quality assurance, for monitoring and enforcement, imposed reporting requirements and rights of access, and set out implementation and termination procedures. District Judge Henry T. Wingate approved the settlement and received the subsequently-filed periodic monitor's reports.

An Amendment to Consent Decree was filed with the court on February 26, 2008, which extended its provisions to May 31, 2010, appointed two court monitors, set out deadlines for receiving detailed action plans from those monitors, and addressed compliance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a).

In 2010, the court ordered the Consent Decree amended to dismiss certain provisions and modify others. The court required the defendant to develop a comprehensive action plan for the substantive remedial areas of the Agreement. This Action Plan was filed with the court on September 16, 2010.

Monitoring continued, and on April 12, 2013, parties advised the court that the state has satisfied the requirements in the major substantive areas of the Consent Decree. The only remaining action at that point was implementation of the Quality Assurance program.

On September 17, 2013, the court (Judge Wingate) signed an Agreed Order Terminating Specific Provisions of the Amended Consent Decree, in which parties agreed that the state had met its burden of remaining in substantial compliance for a period of six months with regards to all remaining provisions of the Consent Decree. Following the twenty-first Monitor’s Report, Judge Wingate terminated the Consent Decree and its associated Orders and finally dismissed the case with prejudice

Elizabeth Daligga - 07/26/2012
Frances Hollander - 02/21/2016

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Content of Injunction
Goals and Timekeeping
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Fire safety
Grievance Procedures
Over/Unlawful Detention
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 14141
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Columbia Training School
Oakley Training School
State of Mississippi
State of Mississippi
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice
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 2005 - 2013
Filing Year 2003
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JI-MS-0003 : Morgan v. Sproat (S.D. Miss.)
Additional Resources
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  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
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
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 ]

3:03-cv-01354-HTW-JCS (S.D. Miss.)
JI-MS-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/30/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Re: CRIPA Investigation of Oakley and Columbia Training Schools in Raymond and Columbia, Mississippi
JI-MS-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2003
JI-MS-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/18/2003
Settlement Agreement in K.L.W. v. James [Consolidated Case] [ECF# 83]
JI-MS-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States and the State of Mississippi
JI-MS-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/04/2005
JI-MS-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/09/2005
Amendment to Consent Decree [ECF# 135]
JI-MS-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/28/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Parties Joint Motion to Enter Compliance Action Plan as a Modification to the Agreement [ECF# 160]
JI-MS-0004-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
State of Mississippi Action Plan [ECF# 160-1]
JI-MS-0004-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Order Terminating Specific Provisions of the Amended Consent Decree [ECF# 173] (S.D. Miss.)
JI-MS-0004-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/27/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Sumner, James C. Jr. (S.D. Miss.)
Wingate, Henry Travillion (S.D. Miss.)
JI-MS-0004-0003 | JI-MS-0004-0006 | JI-MS-0004-0009 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0001 | JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003
Anderson, Robert G. (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0004-0001 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Bedi, Sheila A. (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0004-0005 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0001 | JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003
Coon, Laura (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003
Delaney, Joshua (District of Columbia)
Dominguez, Silvia Judith (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0007 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Donnelly, Matthew J. (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003
Eichner, James (District of Columbia)
Lampton, Dunn (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0004-0001 | JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Lipow, Danielle Jeannine (Alabama)
JI-MS-0004-0005 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Miller, David B. (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0004-0005 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Nardone, S. Nicole (District of Columbia)
Paige, Mitzi Dease (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0004-0001 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0001 | JI-MS-0004-0003
Rainey, Ryan H. (District of Columbia)
Resetarits, Jeffrey (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003
Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003
Simpson, Tammi R. (District of Columbia)
JI-MS-0004-0001 | JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Welp, Laura M. (District of Columbia)
Defendant's Lawyers Hood, Jim (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0004-0002 | JI-MS-0004-0003
Pizzetta, Harold Edward III (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0004-0005 | JI-MS-0004-9000
Shurden, Shawn Stephen (Mississippi)
JI-MS-0004-0007 | JI-MS-0004-9000

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