- The Justice Department today reached a landmark settlement agreement to reform the criminal justice system in Hinds County, Mississippi. The agreement resolves the department’s findings that the Hinds County Adult Detention Center and the Jackson City Detention Center – which together form the Hinds County Jail – failed to protect prisoners from violence and excessive force and held them past their court-ordered release dates, in violation of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA).
- The settlement agreement is the first of its kind to incorporate broader criminal justice system reform through diversion at the front end and reentry to the community after incarceration.
- The settlement agreement – subject to approval by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Mississippi – requires the county to implement a series of reforms across various stages of the criminal justice system, including the following:
- Improve safety and security within the jail through better staffing and supervision, revised policies and physical plant improvements;
- Limit the use of segregation and improve access to screening, treatment and community-based services for special needs prisoners, including juveniles and prisoners with serious mental illness;
- Improve mental health and youth services, including better integration of jail operations with local community mental health and youth programs;
- Enhance communication and coordination among different agencies involved with the criminal justice process;
- And ensure compliance with due process liberty protections as prisoners navigate the criminal justice system.
Updated December 28, 2016