DOJ: Miss. County Operates ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’

MERIDIAN, Miss. — Officials in Lauderdale County have operated “a school-to-prison pipeline” in which students are incarcerated for alleged school disciplinary infractions, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division seeks “meaningful negotiations” in 60 days to end the constitutional violations or else a federal lawsuit would be filed against state, county and local officials in Meridian, CNN reports. Meridian police has been accused of automatically arresting all students referred by the city’s public schools and then sending them to the county juvenile justice system.

In 2009, the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Facility in Meridian was sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center for allegedly subjecting child and teens to “shockingly inhumane” treatment.

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