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Alleged Youth Prison Abuse at Walnut Grove

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 11 Jan 2011 08:45am | comments

Allegations of inmate abuse at Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility has gotten the attention of state lawmakers. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports how the Mississippi House Juvenile Justice Committee is gathering facts.

During a hearing in Jackson Michael McIntosh told lawmakers of the horrific conditions his son and dozens of other inmates have to endure in the custody of Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

"Our children are living with beat downs, being sprayed in the eyes with mace, forced to deal drugs because of corrupt guards. Denial education and languishing without medical care. Place them in a facility that's appropriate for their ages and can meet rehabilitation and educational needs."

The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a suit against the Walnut Grove Correctional Authority, which is overseen by the town of Walnut Grove and the GEO Group which operates the prison. But at Tuesdays House Juvenile Justice Committee Meeting Chairman Earle Banks of Jackson says he's considering legislation that would require more training and stiffer penalties.

"Stricter penalties for contraband being brought in by guards. They're certifying that theses teachers are available but of course the kids are not having class and having class to me is not sending a packet of information to a cell."

Banks says he hopes to hold another hearing on the facility later this session. This time he says he may have the prison officials subpoenaed to attend. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.

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