DOJ Lawsuit Set for 2014

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Jackson, Miss.

A federal judge has scheduled a December 2014 trial for a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit that says a "school-to-jail pipeline" in east Mississippi locks up students for minor infractions.

The October 2012 lawsuit says officials in Meridian and Lauderdale County have policies allowing students to be arrested and detained without probable cause or legal representation.

The Justice Department says the policy mainly affects black and disabled children.

The trial is scheduled to take place in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

The defendants in the lawsuit include the city of Meridian, Lauderdale County and two Lauderdale County Youth Court judges.

In May, a judge approved a deal between the Justice Department and the Meridian Public School District to end discriminatory disciplinary practices. The district is not a defendant in the suit.