August 13, 2012

Talking back and breaking dress codes may be normal behavior for school-aged kids, but in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, those minor infractions land students in jail. According to the investigative findings of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the county operates a brutal “school-to-prison pipeline,” where children face repeated incarceration and abuse for the smallest misdeeds, reports CNN.

The federal agency detailed the results of its nine month investigation in a letter released this Friday. It found the system established by the City of Meridian, Lauderdale County, and Department of Youth Services, “‘shocks the conscience,’ resulting in the incarceration of children for alleged ‘offenses’ such as dress code violations, flatulence, profanity, and disrespect.”

According to the investigation, “Students most affected by this situation are African-American children and children with disabilities.”

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