Florey Responds to Juvenile Center Lawsuit

A member of the Lauderdale County board of supervisors spoke out Monday about a lawsuit filed over the Lauderdale County Juvenile Center.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Mississippi Youth Project filed the suit last week, claiming deplorable conditions exist there and that minors are routinely abused.

County supervisors say they are working to fix the problems.

"We have a punch list from the state, prior to the lawsuit, that we're working on," said board president Hank Florey.

Florey said it's a 17-point check list that was presented to the board last month by the the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

"Mainly it has to do with management of the facility and not the physical plant," Florey said.

The District 1 supervisor says management issues, including the hiring and firing at the facility, are beyond supervisors' control. He says his board strictly handles funding for the center, and because of this, it previously allotted money to address the facility's physical needs.

Supervisors say part of the problem at the juvenile center has been destruction of property by the juveniles themselves. He said some have even kicked out sheet rock ceilings, removed light fixtures and torn up recreational equipment.

"We had to put new lighting in the cells. That was asked for. We have done that," said Florey. "They want cameras. We have cameras ordered. There are a lot of things that the state and federal government ask for now that we haven't been doing down through the years, but we're trying to do now. "

Florey estimates that accomplishing the items on the list will cost the county about $50,000. He says this is money that has already been allotted into the juvenile center's budget.

With the county expected to meet all requirements on the list by the end of this year, Florey says he's hopeful that the lawsuit will be dropped soon after that.

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  • by Give me a Break on Oct 29, 2009 at 08:49 AM
    ED: WHAT???? OMG - you people never stop amazing me!
  • by Ed on Oct 28, 2009 at 02:37 PM
    yes will agree home is where it should start but it is the who dang mess that has allowed this to happen... always excuses for the person always the victim.... well the thing is they know what is being done is wrong from the onset.... is called in part age responsibility just shakes my head.. as to post on this more someone will always come back and what will be done will be done most times it is the wrong way..
  • by sick of it Location: Meridian on Oct 27, 2009 at 06:08 PM
    Why in the world would we want to make the criminals more comfortable?. We need to stop with the hand outs and help the ones who need it. If we stop giving free food and money and some of these people got a sense of self worth Meridian, Ms would be a lot better of a place to live.
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Oct 27, 2009 at 02:57 PM
    I think this is absolutley ridiculous why should there be such a focus on the comforts inside the juvenile center when the real focus should be to eliminate children going in period.
  • by Give me a Break on Oct 27, 2009 at 11:06 AM
    Guys money is not ever going to fix any problem. I am an educator and attest to the fact (yes fact) that no matter how much money we spend on buildings (9th grade building) new text books, programs, computers, professional development, software programs, playground equipment, etc... None of this works. Bottom line is: it has to be taught at HOME... A new facility will help nothing. We need to open a boot camp where the kids stay around the clock. I wonder if the state would pay for that. Now that is a program that would address the issues these kids have and I would not mind money to go towards.
  • by Mack Location: Lauderdale County on Oct 27, 2009 at 09:39 AM
    I love me some Christians. Those that praise the lord for two hours on Sunday and ask for forgiveness. During the other 166 hours of the week they spew hate. Why don't you guys that have a problem with 'THESE PEOPLE' and 'THUGS' go spew some hate at the young man (Juvenile) at Newton County Academy who brought a loaded gun onto the campus. The story is titled Student Released to His Parents. After spending the weekend in the Scott County Juvenile Detention Center, (George) Monroe (the youth court judge) decided the boy could stay with his parents until his next hearing rather than go back to jail.
  • by taxpayer on Oct 27, 2009 at 08:18 AM
    Loretta i just knew you would be on here with your dumb ___ comments. Every time i read something on here you always have to make your comments known. Do you work or are you at work on the computer instead of actually doing some work??? Evidently you're not a taxpayer if you think it's good to spend it on fixing up a place for thugs and delinquents.
  • by Old Taxpayer Location: Meridian on Oct 27, 2009 at 08:00 AM
    Why should we have to spend more money for "THUGS" to be comfortable? You people who want to help these "young people of the community" should pick you out a couple of them and take them home with you!!!!
  • by mama Location: meridian on Oct 27, 2009 at 07:15 AM
    This juvenile facility runs their own corrupt lil operation, what they want its what happens inside this facitlity. It is dirty and disgusting the dogs in this town are better cared for then our children. Why not build a YMCA with your tax dollars so the kids have something to do instead of get in trouble.
  • by Observer Location: Meridian on Oct 26, 2009 at 10:00 PM
    I agree with tired taxpayer. I think that people make it to easy for our youth. They need to learn that if they break the rules or laws there are consquences. Sending them to a nice building thats probably better than where they live will not solve the problem. I think they need to leave the center as it is. Maybe kids will stop what they are doing that ends them up there.
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