Shelby County hires consultant for Juvenile Detention Center

Major problems at the Shelby County juvenile detention center
Major problems at the Shelby County juvenile detention center
Updated: Dec. 12, 2018 at 5:06 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Sheriff Floyd Bonner announced Tuesday that Shelby County has hired a nationally-known consultant to continue focusing on juvenile justice reform.

According to the sheriff’s office, personnel at the Juvenile Detention Center began working with national juvenile detention expert David Roush, Ph.D. in 2012 when the Department of Justice began overseeing the facility.

Bonner says Roush’s training and insight has already helped the sheriff’s office make progress in many areas.

This comes after the Department of Justice released a report highlighting some of the court system’s flaws.

The 60 page report was done in October after the DOJ announced it will end its oversight of the city and county’s juvenile court.

While the report mentioned “notable progress,” it said the court remains deeply flawed.

The report found the court to be in compliance with 53 of the original 56 items of compliance. But those items that are still not compliant, the report said, “enable a culture of intimidation and undermines due process."

The two main issues noted at the beginning of the report are attorney structures that prevent access to independent counsel and “blatantly unfair” transfer hearing practices.

Now that DOJ oversight is ending, Roush will continue working with the Juvenile Detention Center to make it “a model facility,” said Bonner.

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