According to the U.S. Department of Justice, juvenile authorities in Meridian, Mississippi, have been following a policy in which children suspended from school, even for minor infractions, find themselves being incarcerated:
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has released investigative findings determining that children in predominantly black Meridian, Miss. have had their constitutional rights violated by theLauderdale County Youth Court, the Meridian Police Department, and the Mississippi Division of Youth Services in what civil rights investigators allege is a school to prison pipeline with even dress code violations resulting in incarceration.
The report declares:
“The system established by the City of Meridian, Lauderdale County, and DYS to incarcerate children for school suspensions ‘shocks the conscience,’ resulting in the incarceration of children for alleged ‘offenses’ such as dress code violations, flatulence, profanity, and disrespect.”
The report continues:
“By policy and practice, [the Meridian Police Department] MPD automatically arrests all students referred to MPD by the District. The children arrested by MPD are then sent to the County juvenile justice system, where existing due process protections are illusory and inadequate. The Youth Court places children on probation, and the terms of the probation set by the Youth Court and DYS require children on probation to serve any suspensions from school incarcerated in the juvenile detention center.”
Because Meridian has a black population of about 62 percent, it is almost inevitable that many of the adults involved in this outrage also are black, and I have doubts that it is a situation of whites automatically victimizing blacks. Instead, this seems to be yet another example of the Pavlovian response of American authorities to see incarceration as a first option for just about everything. Nonetheless, as Radley has demonstrated in his articles about Cory Maye and fraudulent forensics by prosecutors in Mississippi, little has changed in the Magnolia State from the days when jurors acquitted the murderers of Emmett Till because they didn’t believe a white person should be punished for murdering someone who was black.