In March 2011, the United States issued an investigative findings letter concluding that conditions at the Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center violated the constitutional and federal statutory rights of the youth confined there. Leflore is a 30-bed short-term facility that serves large numbers of children annually due to high turnover and repeat confinements." The United States concluded that youth confined to Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center are: (1) exposed to excessive physical restraint and isolation as a means of discipline; (2) exposed to great risk of harm from inadequate mental health care, including inadequate screening, monitoring and treatment of youth who are suicidal; and (3) given inadequate educational opportunities. On December 19, 2014, the United States expanded its investigation to include the state of Mississippi. The State took over the Leflore County school district in 2013, which includes the school in the detention center. Because the State is responsible for providing special education services at the Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center school, the United States will expect the State to address any violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400-1482. On June 18, 2015, the federal district court for the Northern District of Mississippi entered as its order a settlement agreement between the United States and the Leflore County Board of Supervisors concerning the conditions at the Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center. The agreement includes significant reforms regarding protection against harm and includes commitments eventually to eliminate disciplinary seclusion and restrict the use of cool-down seclusion.
United States v. Leflore County, Mississippi
Case Open Date:
Friday, August 14, 2009
Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center
Civil Rights - Special Litigation Section
Updated June 2, 2016