The Justice Department announced today that it is opening a pattern or practice investigation of Hinds County Detention Center including both the Hinds County facility in Raymond, Mississippi, and the Jackson Detention Center, in Jackson, Mississippi. The investigation will focus on whether Hinds County protects prisoners from harm at the hands of other prisoners and staff. Attorneys for the County Board and the Sheriff were notified on June 2, 2014. They pledged cooperation with the investigation
The department opened the investigation pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. The investigation will include a comprehensive review of policies, procedures, and records, as well as interviews with county officials, jail administrators, staff, and current and former inmates. The Justice Department will also reach out to other stakeholders, including members of the community and groups with knowledge of conditions in the two facilities.
“Our investigation will focus on whether Hinds County protects prisoners from the harm that can result from prisoner on prisoner violence and the improper use of force,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “We have not prejudged this matter, and will seek cooperation from county officials and other stakeholders during the course of the investigation.”
“The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi will work diligently with the Civil Rights Division to ensure that the investigation into the detention center is one that will ultimately yield results that are helpful to the citizenry of the Southern District of Mississippi, and specifically, Hinds County,” said Gregory K. Davis, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.
Individuals who have allegations about unlawful conditions in the Jail are encouraged to contact the Justice Department by phone at (202) 514-6255, by email at HCDC.firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at:
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
For more information on the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, please visit www.justice.gov/crt.