Allegations of abuse at Hattiesburg juvenile facility - - Jackson, MS

Allegations of abuse at Hattiesburg juvenile facility

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By Katina Rankin - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – Disturbing details have emerged about alleged abuse at another juvenile detention center in south Mississippi.

WLBT News has exclusive video of a jailer at the Forrest County Detention Center in Hattiesburg.  A court order has been issued banning us from showing the video of alleged abuse, even though their parents have given us permission. 

So for now, until our attorneys work this out, we'll tell the story through the parents' and children's voices. 

Teen X, as we are calling him to protect his identity, was jailed at the Forrest County Juvenile Detention center last year.  Even though he is 18, and both he and his mother have given us permission to interview him, we are blocking his face to protect his privacy.  

According to Teen X, he was at the facility for committing a commercial robbery. While in lock-up, here's what he says a guard did. 

"He told everybody to go into their cells. And everybody went into their cells. That's whenever he came over there and put his hands on me and started throwing me around the room," said Teen X. "He was slamming me up against the wall and throwing me on the floor. He drug me on the floor and put me up in the D unit and when he put me up in D unit, where there was no cameras to see, he was holding me by my t-shirt, not by my t-shirt, but uniform I was wearing and he would slap me in the face." 

Although a youth court judge prevents the video from being shown, we did get reaction from Teen X's mother, as she saw the tape for the first time.  She sat expressionless as she watched. 

"I didn't know he had been abused." ‘So he never told you?' "No. I just recently found out about this. Who is going to believe them. They are easy to abuse you know. He probably knew I wouldn't believe him." ‘But seeing made you believe?' "Oh yeah!"  ‘And as a mother, how does it make you feel?' "Horrible, helpless." 

The jailer was fired.  But both Teen X and his mother say that's not good enough. They want the guard to be prosecuted.

We have also obtained at least five other videos showing alleged abuse at the facility.

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