Society
Society

Black Children in Meridian, Mississippi Sent to Jail for Dress Code Violations

| by Michael Allen

Children in Meridian, Mississippi [which is predominantly black], had their constitutional rights violated, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a recent report.

According to ABC News, the Justice Department found that Lauderdale County Youth Court, the Meridian Police Department, and the Mississippi Division of Youth Services created a "school to prison pipeline" in which dress code violations, flatulence, profanity, and disrespect could send a child to jail.

The Justice Department also found that police department arrests children without probable cause, violating the children’s Fourth Amendment protections of unlawful search and seizure.

Lauderdale County, the Youth Court judges, and the Mississippi Division of Youth Services reportedly violated the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by "failing to provide children procedural due process rights in the probationary process."

The Justice Department wrote: “The system established by the City of Meridian, Lauderdale County, and DYS to incarcerate children for school suspensions ‘shocks the conscience,’ resulting in the incarceration of children for alleged ‘offenses’ such as dress code violations, flatulence, profanity, and disrespect.