Court chooses monitor to oversee Juvenile Detention Center - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Court chooses monitor to oversee Juvenile Detention Center


Nearly one year to the day since the lawsuit citing abuses against children in the Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center was first filed, the county and the nonprofit state organization - Disability Rights Mississippi - were back in court.

At issue was choosing which one of the defendants and plaintiff's proposed candidates was the best fit to help shift the facility into compliance with federal laws.

After five months of emails exchanged between parties but no agreement, on Tuesday federal court Judge Keith Starrett made the decision.

In 2011 a lawsuit was filed after abusive behavior was discovered inside the detention center; one youth was hogtied, another punched in the face repeatedly, girls stripped nearly naked and isolated in cold cells.

The parties settled months ago, but today were back in court asking a judge to decide - because they couldn't - on one person who would serve as the monitor of the center and help it comply with federal laws.

In front of Judge Keith Starrett today there five monitor candidates: two proposed by Forrest County and three by the plaintiffs.

The pick at the end of a more than two hour hearing was Anne Nelsen - a juvenile justice consultant based in Utah, who will charge $125 an hour.

"I'm looking forward to visiting the facility and getting to know the management and the staff so I can better help them come into compliance with the settlement agreement," said Nelsen.

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