DOJ ends part of court deal

Jus­tice Depart­ment con­fi­dent county do­ing bet­ter with ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice is ter­mi­nat­ing more than a dozen sub­sec­tions of its agree­ment with Shelby County Ju­ve­nile Court, but stopped short of re­leas­ing the county from over­sight.

Ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment ob­tained by The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal, the Jus­tice Depart­ment is ter­mi­nat­ing 14 sub­sec­tions af­ter find­ing that the county has com­done plied with the mea­sures sub­stan­tially and for one year.

The Jus­tice Depart­ment ex­pressed con­fi­dence to county of­fi­cials that there has been steady move­ment to­ward com­pli­ance with the en­tire agree­ment, how­ever “be­cause more work needs to be be­fore that goal is achieved, it would be pre­ma­ture to ter­mi­nate the en­tire agree­ment at this time.”

The court has been mon­i­tored fol­low­ing a 2012 re­port from the Jus­tice Depart­ment find­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion against African-Amer­i­can chil­dren, un­safe con­fine­ment con­di­tions and fail­ures to pro­vide due process to youth ap­pear­ing for pro­ceed­ings at the court.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Lut­trell, Sher­iff Bill Old­ham and Ju­ve­nile Court Judge Dan Michael signed a let­ter in June to At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions ask­ing him to re­view the sta­tus of the en­tire agree­ment with the DOJ and that if he agrees it should be ter­mi­nated, they

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