Tennessee Juvenile Detention Center Fails to Protect Children's Rights

From The Commercial Appeal in Memphis:

Federal officials announced today that an investigation of Shelby County’s juvenile justice system found violations of children’s constitutional rights and discrimination against African-American children.

Prepared remarks by Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and U.S. Atty. Edward L. Stanton III said an investigation opened in August 2009 found that the Shelby County system “fails to provide constitutionally required due process to all children appearing for delinquency proceedings, that the court’s administration of juvenile justice discriminates against African-American children and that its detention center violates the substantive due process rights of detained youth by not providing them with reasonably safe conditions of confinement.”

Justice Department attorneys visited the court and detention center in 2010 and 2011 for the review, and the investigation included analysis of 60,000 youth files. . . .

The complaint filed by Brooks in 2007 alleged mistreatment of juveniles based on race, discriminatory hiring practices, widespread nepotism and political patronage and disregard for federal anti-discrimination laws.

Read the rest here.

For further reading, you can read the Department of Justice’s press release and letter on the investigation here.

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