Suit in 'Shackling Case' Cites Reform-School Problems

Two years after Mississippi settled a lawsuit that claimed abuses at a state reform school, a new suit cites continuing problems.

Five of the six plaintiffs say they were shackled for 12 hours a day while at Columbia Training School, and three say they were able cut themselves while on suicide watch, the New York Times reports. A guard sexually assaulted one girl, says the suit, filed in federal court in Jackson, Miss.

Attorneys for the six girls attached to the suit are associated with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. The suit seeks to force the state to provide federally mandated mental-health and rehabilitative treatment, a press release says.

A court-appointed monitor has documented “a long list of failures” to comply with the 2005 settlement, according to the press release. “In the most recent report, the monitor noted that reforms have stalled and expressed grave concerns about inadequate health care and suicide prevention,” it says.

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