JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Hinds County leaders announced the termination of the consent decree dealing with the Henley-Young Patton Juvenile Justice Center.
Supervisors will hold a news conference about the termination of the consent decree on Monday, October 31.
The county has been under the consent decree for the past 11 years.
The decree, which ordered the jail to improve its conditions, stemmed from a 2011 class action lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Disability Rights Mississippi. The suit alleged “inhuman and unconstitutional practices” at the facility, “including regularly isolating children in small cells for 20-23 hours a day and subjecting them to sensory deprivation.”
Children “languished in their cells, receiving sporadic access to educational services and counseling services,” according to court records. The suit also alleged that detainees with serious mental health needs were “frequently denied the services necessary to treat their conditions.”
Leaders said they worked with federal courts and other interest groups to make improvements to the county’s juvenile justice system.
As a result of the strides made over the course of that time period, with the cooperation and guidance of the federal court system we can proudly announce the consent decree under which the Henley-Young Paton Juvenile Justice System has operated has been terminated. This is a major milestone for Hinds County and its taxpayers. However, Hinds County through its judges, administrators, sheriff’s department, and supervisors will continue to uphold the standards of constitutionality for its detention facilities.Hinds County Board of Supervisors
The Associated Press contributed to this report.