Case: United States of America v. Leflore County, Mississippi

4:15-cv-00059 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi

Filed Date: May 12, 2015

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

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 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…

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, 2015, 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 June 8, 2020, there is no indication on the docket that the settlement agreement has terminated, so presumably, the case is ongoing for compliance purposes.

Summary Authors

Richard Jolly (11/18/2014)

Jake Parker (7/23/2018)

Jack Hibbard (6/8/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14433758/parties/united-states-v-leflore-county-mississippi/


Judge(s)

Biggers, Neal Brooks Jr. (Mississippi)

Virden, Jane M. (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Adams, Felicia C. (Mississippi)

Coe, Cynthia (District of Columbia)

Dean, Ralph M. III (Mississippi)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)

Kappelhoff, Mark (District of Columbia)

Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Chiles, Joyce I. (Mississippi)

Judge(s)

Biggers, Neal Brooks Jr. (Mississippi)

Virden, Jane M. (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Adams, Felicia C. (Mississippi)

Coe, Cynthia (District of Columbia)

Dean, Ralph M. III (Mississippi)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)

Kappelhoff, Mark (District of Columbia)

Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Chiles, Joyce I. (Mississippi)

Mayer, Steven L. (Louisiana)

Other Attorney(s)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Hafter, Jerome C (Mississippi)

Stephens, John Morgan IV (Mississippi)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

U.S. v. Leflore County, Mississippi

June 18, 2015 Docket

Findings Letter (2011)

DOJ Investigation of LeFlore County Juvenile Detention Center

No Court

March 31, 2011 Findings Letter/Report
1

Complaint

U.S. v. LeFlore County

May 12, 2015 Complaint
3-1

Settlement Agreement Between the United States and LeFlore County, Mississippi

U.S. v. LeFlore County

May 13, 2015 Settlement Agreement
9

Order Granting Joint Motion for Entry of Settlement Agreement

U.S. v. LeFlore County

June 18, 2015 Order/Opinion

Re: Investigation of Compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act at Leflore County, Mississippi, Juvenile Detention Center

DOJ Investigation of LeFlore County Juvenile Detention Center

No Court

Jan. 12, 2016 Findings Letter/Report

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14433758/united-states-v-leflore-county-mississippi/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link

Notice of Assignment

May 12, 2015 PACER
1

Complaint

May 12, 2015 PACER
2

Motion for Settlement

May 13, 2015 PACER
3

Memorandum in Support

May 13, 2015 PACER
4

Notice of Endorsement

May 14, 2015 PACER
5

Notice of Attorney Appearance

May 14, 2015 PACER
6

Notice of Attorney Appearance

May 14, 2015 PACER
7

Notice of Attorney Appearance

May 14, 2015 PACER
8

Order of Recusal

May 18, 2015 PACER
9

Order on Motion for Settlement

June 18, 2015 PACER
10

Order

June 18, 2015 RECAP
11

Letter/Correspondence

July 27, 2020 PACER
12

Notice of Attorney Appearance

July 28, 2020 PACER
13

Motion to Withdraw as Attorney

Aug. 7, 2020 PACER
14

Order on Motion to Withdraw as Attorney

Aug. 10, 2020 PACER

State / Territory: Mississippi

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 12, 2015

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation of conditions at Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Leflore County (Greenwood , Leflore), County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2015 - None

Content of Injunction:

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Training

Issues

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