Mississippi Teen Girls File Abuse Lawsuit against Reform School

JACKSON, Miss. – In a lawsuit filed July 11, five adolescent girls claim they were sexually abused and forced to wear shackles, among numerous other abuses, while enrolled in the Columbia Training School.

The Columbia Training School is a state-run reform school for girls convicted of criminal behavior. Of approximately 30 girls at the school, most are enrolled for nonviolent offenses such as shoplifting, and most have a psychological disorder.

According to the lawsuit, filed by the Mississippi Youth Justice Project, the girls had to wear shackles 12 hours a day, even while eating and using the bathroom. Three girls on suicide watch managed to cut themselves while neglected. Another girl claims the school offered no treatment after a guard sexually assaulted her, even though she complained and had previously suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her father. The school also provided no counseling services for the troubled teens.

The Department of Human Services suspended six workers at the school two weeks ago. They also announced raises for the other workers, although the lowest-paid employees will still make less than $19,000 a year.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo