Saturday, May 23, 2015

Justice Department excoriates Hinds County over jails.

The Justice Department issued a scathing report and statement on the Hinds County Detention Center at Raymond and Jackson that is posted below.

Note: Here is a video tour of the jail JJ posted in 2012. Go to 10:00 of video. See the ceiling? Its the same as the ceiling in a regular office. That is the regular ceiling in the pods. A metal ceiling was installed in Pod C during its renovation. 

Justice Department Finds That Hinds County, Mississippi, Fails to Protect Prisoners from Harm and Detains Prisoners Beyond Court-Ordered Release Dates

Today, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division announced that it has completed its investigation of the Hinds County Adult Detention Center and the Jackson City Detention Center and issued a letter of findings that determined that Hinds County, Mississippi, violates prisoners’ constitutional rights at both jail facilities. The department found that the jail facilities fail to protect prisoners from violence by other prisoners and from improper use of force by staff. The department also found that the jail facilities detain prisoners beyond court-ordered release dates.

Systemic deficiencies contribute to serious harm and risk of harm at the jail facilities. In the past three years, at least three major riots occurred, resulting in one prisoner’s death and the closing of entire housing units. The department also documented rampant prisoner-on-prisoner violence, including an additional prisoner-on-prisoner homicide and a remarkable volume of contraband. The department found systemic deficiencies in staffing; policies and training; security and classification procedures; physical plant and maintenance; contraband control; and administrative review and other accountability measures to prevent, detect and investigate improper uses of force.

The department found that in an effort to address staffing and security concerns, Hinds County has locked down and otherwise improperly housed prisoners—severely limiting or eliminating access to treatment, education, exercise and visitation. The department noted that juvenile prisoners and prisoners with mental illness are acutely harmed by the lockdowns. One prisoner, who could neither speak nor hear, had been living in a cramped, dark booking cell with a reeking toilet for nearly three years.

The department also found that inadequate staffing and training, a backlog in record filing, and a lack of centralized information have resulted in prisoners being held beyond court-ordered release dates. The delays, most of which were between one and ten days, arose in a variety of circumstances, including after judges ordered prisoners released for lack of probable cause, for lack of prosecution, after adjudication of a guilty plea, and after requisite contempt fines had been paid. The longest period of over-detention—70 days—was for a 13-year-old middle school student, who was held a total of 173 days at the jail facilities without an indictment. The department also voiced concern that delays in indicting prisoners, obtaining forensic mental health review, and bringing cases to trial may lead to unnecessary and prolonged incarceration, draining much-needed resources from the jail facilities.

“Hinds County Adult Detention Center and the Jackson City Detention Center are facilities in crisis,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division. “Making these facilities safe will require broad systemic reforms and a local commitment to improve staffing and operations. The jail facilities play an integral part in the county’s criminal justice system, and it will take cooperation between everyone involved to make the changes needed. The Civil Rights Division looks forward to working with county officials to bring these facilities into compliance with constitutional standards.”

“The Hinds County detention facilities have an obligation to provide conditions of confinement that do not offend the Constitution,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi. “This office will work with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to address and remedy the violations revealed by the investigation.”

The department’s investigation involved in-depth review and analysis of documents, including policies and procedures, incident reports, grievances, legal complaints and grand jury inspection reports. The department also interviewed jail administrators, staff, prisoners, county officials and various criminal justice stakeholders.

The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) authorizes the department to seek a remedy for a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the constitutional rights of persons confined in a jail, prison or other correctional facility. The Attorney General may initiate a lawsuit pursuant to CRIPA forty-nine days after issuance of the findings letter to correct deficiencies identified in the letter if county officials have not satisfactorily addressed the concerns.

The department commends county officials and jail facilities staff for their cooperation and receptivity to the department’s concerns and looks forward to continuing to work with them in a collaborative manner to resolve the department’s findings expeditiously and under mutually agreeable terms.

Kingfish note: Who can forget this escape artist?


Anonymous said...

After reading through the 29 page report, it is remarkable that there have not been more fatalities. Anyone that is detained in Hinds County is at risk of loosing their life. A misdemeanor charge could result in death or injury. The jail is primarily the Sheriff's responsibility. It is time for a new sheriff.

Anonymous said...

Kind of funny that Mac ran this jail for over 20 years without all of these problems, escapes, riots, and building destruction. This jail was designed to be a supervised facility by qualified people with a lick of sense. Also, JD McAdory and Mac ran the downtown jail for over 30 years without a bit of trouble and none of the windows being knocked out. Yeah, must be the building, can't be the personnel.

Anonymous said...

"Kind of funny that Mac ran this jail for over 20 years without all of these problems, escapes, riots, and building destruction."

Or was nobody looking?

Anonymous said...

the construction of the jail has been an issue from day one....thank benny thompson and his friends for matter the sheriff, the jail is a hell hole

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Deputy Dan Aykrod will fix it.

Anonymous said...

Minority built and minority run; this is what DOJ wanted and made happen.

Anonymous said...

Elect a more competent Sheriif , this administration has the Obama blame game syndrome. That man had an excuse for everything. Get new supes to address this and work with the new admin and hopefully be DA.

Anonymous said...

@9:06 pm that is the whole problem

Anonymous said...

That any of you think that the jail hasn't had problems until recently either didn't read the report or can't understand what you read.

If you want to attach blame you start at the beginning when the proposal has to be for well designed jail. Every detail of construction including the quality of materials to be used has to be included. The architect has to be competent and able to design a functioning jail meeting those requirements. Who determined the requirements and who hired the architect?

The contractor isn't going to build anything other than what is minimally required of them in the contract.

Who decided initially what the funding would be to run the jail and the qualifications/training of those hired to run the jail?

The Sheriff at the time, should, first of all, known in detail what a first rate jail needed to look like or find out! If, going forward, others refused to meet those requirement or hire those who could not implement those requirements, the Sheriff should have been screaming to high heaven in the media!

So then you have to hire and retain competent people to manage an unmanageable jail. Ain't going to happen as those managing prisoners find themselves at risk.

Now let's get to funding all of this.

How many of you " I don't want to pay any taxes but I want government to run efficiently" have some responsibility?

You all seem to want a new Lexus for the cost of a beat up used Ford! And, you certainly don't want to be bothered with learning the details of any issue or proposal that you pay for with your tax dollars! You're going to vote for a personable guy like Mac without any notion of whether or not he can or will do his homework in all areas of his responsibility, not just trying to " catch the thugs".

And, NOW, you are outraged?

Your horses left the barn because you forgot it needed a door that could be closed and good fencing around it!

Otis Campbell said...

Is the same Shearuff who appears elsewhere on this blogsite in a paid political add, wearing a fedora, posing with Dan Akroyd. All that's missing is a gold tooth and the hood ornament of a Mercedes in the background.

If I'm unfortunate enough in my behavior and unwise enough in my choices....that I get thrown in the overnight pokey, please take me to Madison County so that I may live to see a jury.

Anonymous said...

This DOJ report is very clear the horrific problems at our jails began three years ago.

Kingfish, in January 2012 you reported how incoming Sheriff Tyrone Lewis immediately threw out former Sheriff McMillin's jail management policies and created this whole sickening disaster:

"One observation I made yesterday was Sheriff Lewis "broke out" the corrections division. It now has its own policy and personnel manuals and is a separate division. The Sheriff said corrections is "governed in a totally different manner" and will be under a different set of rules. Sheriff Lewis said an audit of the entire department was initiated yesterday." - Jackson Jambalaya, January 4, 2012

Anonymous said...

9:06, you are so wrong. I sat through a lot of the litigation after the jail was built. Major contracting companies from here in Jackson built the jail, but they used residential materials. That's right, the same material that was used to build your house was also used to build the jail in Raymond. Also, McMillian changed the plans from the original blueprint numerous times at great expense to the county and without authorization from the county. Although, I do agree that the jail is being improperly run (the sheriff fired the people who knew how to run it), the blame for the building does not fall into the hands of the now sheriff.

Shawshank said...

10:06; Nobody claimed the current high sheriff built the jail. But, he and Robert Graham ARE responsible for maintenance, oversight, correction of problems and improvements. Will you deny that?

Anonymous said...

This is a sad position for Hinds County, The Sheriff's Office and the citizens. In essence, the Federal Government has a set of rules you go by to run a jail. Those were in place and working at HCSO prior to the Lewis administration. The building was a lemon but jail management was functioning and inmates were not killing each other. Lewis doesn't have a clue what he is doing. His term in office will be cited in many textbooks in the future as "what not to do when you are a sheriff". Who would have ever thought that the first sheriff of color would be cited for violating civil rights?

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that Lewis thought if he let the inmates tear up the jail a good jail fairy would come build a new one.

Anonymous said...

10:30, you are absolutely correct and unfortunately, there are some county supervisors that believe the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I remember of inmates getting killed while Mc was Sheriff. I also remember the county having to pay millions on one inmate who had his back broken and can no longer walk. if I remember right the doors were blamed on this incident and that was in 2010.

Anonymous said...

The downtown Jackson Detention Center operated for about 30 years with no problems until the great Tyrone took over. Now we've got all of the windows busted out and escapes every week. Guess it was built wrong too.

KaptKangaroo said...

Holy shit.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS