Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center "still significantly be - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center "still significantly behind schedule"

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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A status hearing for the Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center was held Wednesday before Judge Keith Starrett in the William M. Colmer Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse.

More than 15 months after a settlement agreement was reached to end dangerous conditions at the Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center, an independent monitor's report filed in federal court on Monday has found the facility's efforts ‘still significantly behind schedule'.

“Today the plaintiff’s council has not been satisfied with the progress made, it’s not been significant progress,” said Southern Poverty Law Center Staff Attorney, Elissa Johnson. “Hopefully moving forward with some benchmarks that we have set, the county will increase their level of compliance, and that the safety and well-being of the children at the Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center will be a priority.”

Once the hour-long court session was over, the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with the Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center and Judge Starrett held a meeting afterwards and came to an agreement that will help get the center to comply with its terms on the October 2011 Agreed Order.

“There were some deadlines set, some things discussed as to better ways to comply, and I think it will overall help everyone,” said representative for the Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center, Jim Dukes Jr.

The order was entered for two years, if the detention center in not up-to-date with the Agreed Order by October, then the two parties will have to go back to court and ask for additional time.

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