Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hinds County & Justice Department settle over jail

U.S. Attorney Greg Davis issued the following statement.

Justice Department REACHES SETTLEMENT TO REFORM CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN HINDS COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI

WASHINGTON – 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.  It creates a criminal justice coordinating committee that will help ensure the county’s systems operate effectively and efficiently, develop interventions to divert individuals in appropriate cases from arrest, detention and incarceration, and engage in community outreach.  To promote successful reentry, the agreement includes mechanisms for notifying community health providers when a person with serious mental illness is released to help the person transition safely back to the community.  The agreement also addresses unlawful enforcement of court-ordered fines and fees by ensuring that the county cannot incarcerate an individual for non-payment if the court does not first assess whether the individual is indigent.



“Across the board, this settlement will make the Hinds County criminal justice system smarter and fairer,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “If implemented, these reforms will make pretrial detainees, prisoners, corrections staff and the entire community safer, while also ensuring that vulnerable individuals get access to the treatment, care and community services they need and deserve.  We commend the county for its commitment to making these reforms a reality.”

“For too long, the conditions in the Jail have posed a serious challenge to law enforcement and the safety of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi.  “I appreciate the commitment made by Hinds County officials to turn the page and begin making necessary reforms.”   

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.

Together these reforms aim to improve communication and coordination among criminal justice entities and community service providers to help individuals with mental illness transition back to the community and to reduce recidivism.  If approved by the federal district court, an independent monitor will be appointed to assess the county’s compliance.   

In May 2015, the Justice Department completed a comprehensive investigation – which included on-site inspections, document reviews and stakeholder interviews by department experts and staff – and issued a findings letter that determined that Hinds County Adult Detention Center and the Jackson City Detention Center violated CRIPA by failing to protect prisoners from violence by other prisoners and from improper use of force by staff.  The department also found that inadequate staffing and training, a backlog in record filing and a lack of centralized information resulted in prisoners being held beyond court-ordered release dates.

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.  For more information on the Civil Rights Division’s work in this area, please visit www.justice.gov/crt.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's the explanation! Those two that escaped today are just making sure they aren't held past their release date. Don't be faultin' a playa for being proactive!

Won't End There said...

Cool. This will require only sixteen additional degreed staff members, two Special Implementation and Oversight Team Members, one Oversight Director who will report directly to the Governor and training and implementation training seminars out the wazoo for three or four years.

And, as with the schools in Mississippi, Justice and Civil Rights oversight will continue for at least twenty years. Not to mention everlasting revolving-door visitation and inspection by the ACLU and others.

Anonymous said...

The Jackson DA was only trying to help, one criminal at a time. For some reason people got pissed at him. Can't even help out the prisoners without some one complaining.

Anonymous said...

The mess in Hinds continues to be sorted out for the good.

Anonymous said...

5:18 for the good of WHO? define good?

I have added my two cents on a number of postings here.
I will repeat once again the "justice" system is as "just" as the amount of money your bank account reflects or where and who you grow up around (Taylortown for instance). There is no difference underneath in the stokes', RSS, Bennie's, assistant DA, Hood's, many judges', many lawyers of this world and the thugs in west and south Jackson areas.
The outward difference is in their attire.

I'm not sayin'....I'm just sayin' said...

Saw the precursors of this in the late 70's when I was looking to hire on with JPD. The consent decrees in effect made it evident that the CJ system was headed down hill. These oversights and imposed standards may be a good thing but the County and City are still on a downward slide that has no indication of stopping and certainly not in a desirable fashion. The values and beliefs of those in control 50 years ago may not have been just but I can't help but to wonder comparatively are things today for the community as a whole and even for every individual better. Maybe all are the same except for their outward appearance today.

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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".

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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
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