Federal lawsuit targets abuse at Hinds Juvenile Detention Ctr. - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Federal lawsuit targets abuse at Hinds Juvenile Detention Ctr.

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A federal lawsuit targets abuse at the youth detention facility in Jackson.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Disabilities Rights Mississippi have filed a class action lawsuit against Hinds County.

The suit is on behalf of youth at the Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Detention Center on McDowell Road. 

It details incidents that the organizations say violate the constitutional rights of the children. 

The detainees were allegedly subjected to prolonged isolation and sensory deprivation, verbal abuse and threats of physical harm, and denied mental health services.

Here are some of the incidents cited in the lawsuit:

- A staff member taunted one young man and encouraged him to kill himself so that there would be "one less person officers have to worry about" after the teen began cutting himself with a   razor.

 - Staff regularly verbally abuse children at HY including cursing them and threatening harm to the children and their family members.

- A staff member cursed one child and threatened to harm the child's family– all because the child took too long to return to his cell after his shower.

- Youth are forced to stay in their small cells for 20 – 23 hours everyday with very little human contact, exercise or access to education and rehabilitation programs.

- Staff at the facility regularly withholds necessary medication from children with serious mental health problems.

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