December 26, 2012 - January 1, 2013
JACKSONIAN COACH HARVEY WARDELL
arvey Wardell worked 30 years as an assistant to legendary coach Lafayette Stribling, spending 22 years with Stribling at Mississippi Valley State University and the last eight years at Tougaloo College. When Stribling decided to retire in late October, Tougaloo tapped Wardell to replace him as the new Bulldogs head coach. Although he knows he isn’t as well known as Stribling, “I have confidence in what I do as coach,” Wardell says. In his first season as a head coach, Wardell is learning to step into the spotlight more than he ever had to as assistant coach. “There is not (much) different, but the biggest difference is, as head coach, you are the face of the program,” he says. “You have to keep on top of everything in the program as the head coach.” Wardell says he learned a lot from Stribling. “After 30 years, our styles are similar,” Wardell says. “I tweak some things, but it’s the same type of basketball.” One of the best parts about living in Jackson is the plentiful basketball talent. “Jackson is a hotbed for basketball players,” the coach says. “I and my assistants are able to attend several high school games to scout talent. ... (It’s) great for recruiting.” The beginning of the season has been a struggle for Wardell’s team in his first season. Tougaloo started the season losing
their first seven games. Finally, the Bulldogs broke through with a 77-52 victory against Concordia College Selma for their first win of the season. Tougaloo is currently 1-8 on the season and off for a Christmas break. The Bulldogs’ eight losses are by an average of only 4.6 points. “We are getting better by the game, and are going to (continue to) get better,” Wardell says of his team. “Coach Stribling started a winning tradition of going to the national tournament.” “Our goal is to maintain past status, and we are very young this season, but our guys play hard,” coach Wardell explains. “We hope to begin peaking by the conference tournament.” Wardell, 64, is an Alcorn State graduate. His wife Anglean comes down from Greenwood on weekends, and the couple has three grown sons. Coach Wardell enjoys living in the city of Jackson and on Tougaloo campus. “It is quiet on campus, and my wife loves to come down and shop,” he says, adding, “which can get expensive for me.” “The community of Jackson has a lot to offer, and we enjoy it,” Wardell says. Coach Wardell and the Bulldogs report back to campus Dec. 27 and return to action Jan. 3, 2013. —Bryan Flynn
Cover graphic by Kristin Brenemen
10 For the Kids
Mississippi’s school and court systems are far from delivering justice to the children under its care.
30 Optimistic Faith
“Well, my message is going to be that God has amazing things in 2013. He does reward people who are faithful, and you keep being your best right where you are, and God will get you to where you’re supposed to be. And a lot of times God judges us differently than how people judge us. God looks at the heart. God uses the least likely people in some instances. God used David who, as you know, was an underdog. Some may come from bad families, but our message will be: You’re not who the world says you are, but you’re who God says you are.” —Joel Osteen, “America’s Favorite Pastor”
35 Mixing it Up
What other DJs and electronic musicians do with prerecorded tracks and computer equipment, Keys N Krates does with live instruments in the group’s re-mixing shows.
4 ............................. EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 8 ............................................ TALKS 12 .................................. BUSINESS 14 .................................. EDITORIAL 14 ................................... SORENSEN 15 .................................... OPINION 17 ................... MOST INTRIGUING 21 .............. COLLEGE BASKETBALL 28 ..................................... SPORTS 30 .............................. DIVERSIONS 31 ............................... JFP EVENTS 32 ....................................... 8 DAYS 34 ....................................... MUSIC 36 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 37 .............................. BODY/SOUL 39 ..........................................FOOD 41 .............................. ASTROLOGY 42 .................................. FLY STYLE
COURTESY KEYS N KRATES; COURTESY OSTEEN MINISTRIES; FILE PHOTO
DECEMBER 26, 2012 - JANUARY 1, 2013 | VOL. 11 NO. 16
by Todd Stauffer, Publisher
he last week of the year tends to be a bit quieter than others, even though we’ll have some working days here to get the next issue out (52 weeks a year!)—our Legislative Preview on Jan. 2. The Best of Jackson month kicks in full force leading up to the big issue Jan. 23. But now is a good time to look back and reflect, too, on the 2012 that the Jackson Free Press has enjoyed, and to look forward to 2013. And to share some praise. Perhaps most significant about 2012 is the milestone the JFP reached—we’re now deep into our 10th year, having begun publication back in 2002. It’s a different world in so many ways than it was back then, both in Jackson and nationally, and there’s a lot to celebrate. There’s also a lot more work to be done. As part of turning 10 years old, we rolled out a new website (www.jfp.ms) complete with smartphone compatibility and access to AP wire stories from our front page. More recently, we’ve re-released our iPhone and Android apps, which you can see and download from jfpmobile.com. Kudos to the Web team for making all of that happen this year—it was an extraordinary undertaking—more than we realized at the time. Matt Heindl, in particular, deserves an immense amount of credit for seeing the technology end of it through, while Kristin Brenemen spearheaded the new design, and Latasha Willis and Dustin Cardon took on the bulk of the task of entering listings, cleaning up data in the back end and just generally being a huge part of the transition. Latasha, of course, also does the best events listings in the state at jfpevents.com. Also coinciding with our 10th year was a redesign of the print edition, again implemented by Kristin, with help from her team: Andrea Thomas and Eric Bennett. Jackson Free Press co-founder Stephen Barnette conceived the new JFP logos and “flag” (the logo on the front of the print edi-
tion) and helped us implement some of the cover templating. Many others pitched in this switchover, not only on the design, but on the organization of the Jackson Free Press, which now reflects three strong sections—News & Opinion, Diversions, and Life & Style. Conceived and organized by Donna Ladd, these sections have been built out and shaped by Ronni Mott, Kathleen Morrison Mitchell and the rest of the editorial staff.
We enter the new year a bit shaken, humbled and thankful. Since Kathleen joined us this summer, the features section is better and quirkier than ever with more fun infographics and lots of staff taste-tests of food and drink (see Champagne test on page 39). Briana Robinson has taken the music section to a new level both with her writing and story ideas for freelance writers, with listings and column help from Natalie Long and Garrad Lee. Bryan Flynn’s sports coverage keeps getting better (and he has welcomed a new baby girl, Molly, to his family). Notice the steady stream of meaningful local coverage and high-quality cover stories this year? Reporters R.L. Nave and Jacob Fuller have been on the top of their game, while 2012 saw a new addition to the JFP masthead—staff photographer, in the guise of Trip Burns. Having the three of them pound the pavement—with Ronni
Mott now heading the news coverage and Mike Day with his fantastic editorial cartooning—means not just a “meaty” hyperlocal JFP every week, but a well-rounded JFP Daily email newsletter (www.jfpdaily. com) and persistent coverage online that has translated to more than 1 million visits to the Jackson Free Press website this year. Kudos as well to Korey Harrion, who puts up the weekly stories each week, and Dustin Cardon, who runs the daily stories and the Daily email each weekday. In addition, this year the JFP started doing many more serious and educational infographics, much as we were already doing in the quarterly GOOD Ideas issue. Thanks largely to Ronni, Kristin and Donna, we produced many graphics that visually factchecked much of the incorrect political propaganda that flew around, as well as gave vital information about issues from Obamacare to the sources of our national debt. These graphics are labor-intensive, but the team knows they add a vital information level to the paper that serves our readership. The Best of Jackson 2013 contest— our 11th so far—has gone without a hitch through the voting process, again thanks to Matt Heindl, who built on past work done by Knol Aust and Vince Falconi on our balloting system, and Briana Robinson, who makes some of our hardest issues to manage (like Best of Jackson and Jackpedia) work so well. Matt, meanwhile, is hacking away feverishly as we speak on a new online destination for us to present Best of Jackson finalists and winners to Jacksonians—and the world—with our expected launch date to coincide with the Best of Jackson issue in late January 2013. We’re pretty excited about that one; more to come in the next few weeks. BOOM Jackson magazine continues to click along on all cylinders, thanks to hard work from a number of folks, including Kathleen, Briana and especially Molly
Lehmuller, with expanded distribution, thanks again to Matt and his cadre of drivers—Ray, Jeff, Clint, Robert and Jody— with an assist from the folks writing in to order subscriptions to BOOM. And, of course, we’re all thankful for the advertisers who grace the pages of Jackson Free Press, BOOM Jackson, and the JFP’s various Web and mobile properties, all of whom have a hand in making everything else possible. Advertising Director Kimberly Griffin leads the best sales team in town in Monique Davis and Stephanie Bowering. On the business front, Executive Assistant Erica Crunkilton is working with our long-time bookkeeper Montroe Headd to improve our business, sales and invoicing systems, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. So where does that leave us? After a relatively prodigious and prosperous 2012 for the JFP—and a knock-down, drag-out election season, followed by the dueling narratives of the “fiscal cliff” and the horrendous tragedy in Newtown, Conn.—we enter the new year a bit shaken, humbled, thankful and earnestly aware of the hard work that awaits us. In our most recent staff meeting, we brainstormed the “best fit” approaches for the JFP to expand in the New Year, and we’re looking closely at a few additional ways to bring you the news (think “tablets” and “e-readers”) as well as new opportunities to get the community together for gatherings and celebrations. 2013 will be a year where we renew our resolution to encourage localism in Jackson—we’ve got to keep our local businesses thriving and the job-creation engine wound up and running in metro Jackson to help all residents and entrepreneurs prosper. It’s a prime part of our mission. In ancient China, it may have been a curse, but to us it’s a blessing to live in “interesting times.” Thanks for sharing some of your time with us. Happy New Year!
December 26, 2012 - January 1, 2013
Rev. CJ Rhodes
Jasmin S. Searcy
Meredith W. Sullivan
Sports writer Bryan Flynn is a lifelong Mississippi native who lives in north Jackson. He also writes a national blog, playtowinthegame.com. Follow him @jfpsports. He coordinated and wrote for the basketball preview.
Torsheta Bowens is originally from Shuqualak, Miss. She is a mom, teacher and coach. In her free time, she loves to read. (She just doesn’t have any free time.) Torsheta wrote for the basketball preview.
Reporter Jacob Fuller is a former student at Ole Miss. When not reporting, he splits his time between playing music and photographing anything in sight. He covers the city for the JFP. Jacob wrote news stories and intriguing profiles.
Rev. CJ Rhodes, a Hazelhurst native, attended Ole Miss and Duke Divinity School in North Carolina, where he earned his master’s of divinity. Rhodes is the pastor at Mount Helm Baptist Church. CJ interview Joel Osteen for this issue.
Genevieve Legacy is an artist and writer who relocated from New York last August. She lives in Brandon with her husband, and son and one of Mississippi’s laziest dogs, a piebald hound named Dawa. She wrote a music feature.
Jasmin S. Searcy holds a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in clinical and community counseling from the Johns Hopkins University and is pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology. She wrote the Body/Soul.
Former New Yorker Meredith W. Sullivan is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and the JFP stylist. She spends her days dreaming about where to travel next and enjoying life in Fondren. She wrote the FLY feature.
Art Director Kristin Brenemen is an otaku with a penchant for dystopianism. Her 2012 resolution to not wear pants all year was a rousing success! She designed the cover and most of the issue.
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WHAT IS YOUR TOP RESOLUTION FOR 2013? Melissa Kelly Learn a new skill. (unless I start re-taking flute lessons, then that will count). Joan Blanton Finish dissertation. Caroline Crawford Just be me.
ployed satirist ... especially during the Christmas holiday. Judykay Jefferson To move boldly into my future, unafraid, unstoppable. Renee Shakespeare To keep my mouth closed and my mind open.
Katie Staten Stafford All around better health. No smoking, less drinking, better food intake.
Jacob D. Fuller Make my screenplay into a short film.
Kenneth E. Stiggers To be gainfully employed. It sucks being an unem-
Marie Jenkins To change. Do something different than Iâ€™ve been doing.
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December 2, 2012 - January 1, 2013
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For Sandy Hook
Jeanne Terpstra Yarbrough To listen.
by Funmi â€œQueenFolayanâ€? Franklin
Chelle Crawford To stop smoking. Of course thatâ€™s my every single day resolution. Ugh!!!!!
The eyes of the young that will never grow old Stories of their souls left untold; A gift so innocent, so young, so true A nation of mourners heartbroken, confused; The loss of a life brings ageless pain But to lose a child leaves an endless stain; Every mother, father, sister or brother Knows the ache of losing another; We donâ€™t understand and wonâ€™t pretend to We only ask for a little comfort just to get thru; No one knows why we face such violent acts Iâ€™m not even sure thatâ€™s the question we need to ask; Letâ€™s just gather together as we have many times before Letâ€™s shower the families that will hurt for evermore; Let us do what America does best Join together when our faith is at its test; I donâ€™t care what spiritual being gives you life Just pray an end to this misery and strife; We are all of someone and we all know love We are all tested and we must all overcome; We are imperfect and yes we often fail But we are Americans and we shall prevail; We often fight each other on our own land But we, Americans, together we stand; Shaken to the core and yes, we cry today But we, Americans, will see another day; Sandy Hook, we care, we cry, we feel your pain We pray, we love, and we hurt the same; You canâ€™t see us, but we mourn with you Your angels are our angels, theyâ€™ll carry us all through. â€” Dec. 17, 2012
Mitchell Moore Be more deliberate. Keiona Miller Stop cursing so muchâ€Ślove saying bad words! Kim Pinkerton Smith To be a more gentle mother. I feel like Iâ€™m too tough with my four kiddos sometimes. -/34 6)2!, STORIES AT JFPMS
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October â€“ December 2012 Incumbent Barack Obama defeats Gov. Mitt Romney by an electoral count of 332-206 to win re-election as President of the United States. ... Hurricane Sandy sweeps through the Caribbean and makes landfall near New York city, killing more than 100, leaving thousands homeless and millions without power. ... CIA Director David Petraeus resigns after admitting to an affair with his biographer. ... Washington considers major gun legislation after a shooter kills 28 people, including 20 children at Sand Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com.
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by Jacob D. Fuller
to assure the bonds will be marketable before he signs off on the contract with Siemens. Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, also in the running for mayor, said TRIP BURNS
fter a month of squabbling over details and timeliness, the Jackson City Council approved the mayorâ€™s financial advisory team for the cityâ€™s $90-million water system enhancement project Dec. 17. On two previous occasions, council members refused to vote on $400,000 in contracts for bond counsel and financial advisers in the Councilâ€™s Economic Development Committee. Membersâ€™ reasons for not voting ranged from concern that the mayor has not signed a contract with lead contractor Siemens Corp. to worries about open-ended language regarding contractorsâ€™ expenses that could lead to bigger bills for the city. Councilmen Quentin Whitwell of Ward 1 and Frank Bluntson of Ward 4 said at previous meetings that they would not approve the financial advisory team until Mayor Harvey Johnson signed the contract with Siemens. The Siemens-led project will include upgrades to the cityâ€™s water-treatment plants, improvements to water pipes, installation of digital water meters, a new water usage tracking system and a new bill-payment system. Siemens has guaranteed the city that the project will pay for itself in long-term savings and increased revenue. The city will need to sell bonds to finance the project in the short-term. Johnson said the city needs the financial advisory team
included an amendment that will terminate all financial contracts if the city does not sign a contract with Siemens by Jan. 31. The city will pay $170,000 to Baker Donelson and Anthony Simon for bond counsel, $125,000 to Malachi Financial Products for financial advice and $100,000 to the Begley Law Firm and Betty Mallett for underwriting the bonds.
DOJ Approves Redistricting The U.S. Department of Justice has pre-cleared the cityâ€™s redistricting plan. The pre-approval allows the city to plan next yearâ€™s elections under the new ward lines. The biggest redistrictAfter a month-long stand-off, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. got approval from the City Council for his handpicked ing change came in Wards 1 financial advisory committee on a $90-million water and 7. The Lefleur East neighproject. borhood, bordered by Meadowbrook Road and Lakeland he was concerned that the city administra- Drive to the north and south, and Interstate tion was trying to negotiate some of the 55 and Ridgewood Road to the west and subcontractors that Siemens hire. He agreed east, will move from its previous designato approve the financial advisory team only tion in Ward 1 to Ward 7. Ward 1 includes with an amendment that all bonds come be- most of the city east of Interstate 55. Ward fore the Council for approval. 7 includes Fondren, Belhaven and parts of Whitwell added another amendment downtown and south Jackson. that capped financial contractorâ€™s out-ofComment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob pocket expenses at $5,000. Whitwell also D. Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 IN JACKSON TRENDS
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December 26, 2012 - January 1, 2013
July â€“ September 2012 Drought plagues the Midwest, destroying a large portion of the nationâ€™s corn crop. ... Jackson City Council negotiates a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will force the city to do approximately $400-million in water-system improvements over the next 20 years. ... Republicans choose former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the partyâ€™s presidential candidate at the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla.
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April â€“ June 2012 Gov. Phil Bryant signs House Bill 1390, aimed at closing the stateâ€™s only abortion clinic, into law. ... Coach John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats top off a 38-2 season with Calipariâ€™s first national championship. ... Joyce Jackson wins a court hearing against LaRita Cooper-Stokes, alleging polling-place improprieties. Judge Richard McKenzie sets the February election aside and orders a new election. ... The Obama administration announces a decree that will stop deportation of immigrants who come to the United States as children, if they meet certain requirements.
Âą4HE ONLY THING THAT STOPS A BAD GUY WITH A GUN IS A GOOD GUY WITH A GUNÂ˛
City Approves Financial Advisory Team
January â€“ March 2012 Alabama defeats LSU 21-0 in a rematch to take home the NCAA FBS National Championship. ... Former Gov. Haley Barbour makes waves throughout the nation by pardoning more than 200 inmates, including murderers, before leaving office. ... LaRita Cooper-Stokes wins a run-off election to replace her husband, Kenneth Stokes, as Ward 3 Councilwoman. ... Eli Manning earns his second Super Bowl MVP in a 21-17 win over the New England Patriots.
Âą5NLESS A CRIME HAPPENS POLICE OFÂ˝CERS DONÂ´T NEED TO BE IN SCHOOLSÂ˛
Âą7EÂ´RE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WORK TO HOURS A WEEK WHOSE EMPLOYERS DONÂ´T PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCEÂ˛
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by Jacob D. Fuller
sound proofing and the size of individual housing units in the shelters. The new ordinance meant ARF had to either make major improvements to its facility on Holly Bush Road, which the organization could not afford, or find a new home outside Rankin County. â€œWhen it came down to how much money we would have to spend (in Rankin County) to build a new buildingâ€”and (the location) is a long, long way out there, youâ€™ve got to go out there to adopt a dog or a cat or to volunteerâ€”we just decided that the best choice for spending our donated money was to move closer (to the city), where itâ€™s easier access for everyone,â€? Jackson told the Jackson Free Press. Jackson, who doesnâ€™t draw a salary from ARF, wouldnâ€™t give up on the animals. So ARF began looking for a building in Jackson that fit its needs and was located in a commercial zone. ARF found a new location for the kennel on West Mayes Street. The property had plenty of land for the kennelâ€™s 250-plus dogs and a few-dozen cats, multiple dog runs and a good facility with concrete floors and metal walls. Located beElizabeth â€œPippaâ€? Jackson and the Animal tween a construction company and Rescue Fund continue to fight for homeless animals, despite opposition in both Rankin and a large, empty field, and across the Hinds counties. street from brick and stockyards, the building sits near the western border rooms for cats, one for adults and another for of a commercially zoned industrial park. The kittens. Shelves lined with bed mats sit against location seemed like a perfect match, so ARF one wall of the catsâ€™ rooms, while climbing bought it. posts and other toys line the other walls. On the other side of the western border, This is ARFâ€™s new home, made neces- though, about 500 feet west of the once-dessary because some of its former neighbors olate property, is a residential neighborhood. in rural Rankin County didnâ€™t want the In November, before ARF had even kennel there. moved animals into the facility, the orgaARF, under direction of founder and nization faced opposition from citizens executive director Elizabeth â€œPippaâ€? Jack- once again. Several residents, led by Ward 3 son, first faced opposition in January, when Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes and neighbors of ARFâ€™s Pelahatchie home began Zoning Board member Jimmie Robinson, complaining about the noise coming from made headlines when they protested outside the kennel. ARFâ€™s opposition soon became the Mayes Street location Nov. 15. serious, with the Board of Supervisors in Robinson said he spoke to Jackson Rankin County considering an ordinance when he heard about ARF possibly moving that could run ARF out of the county. into the former factory, and claims Jackson The board passed an ordinance Feb. told him that she wasnâ€™t going to move the 15 that requires all animal shelters to house kennel to Mayes Street. animals in a â€œfully enclosed, insulated, sound Jackson denied Robinsonâ€™s claims. proofed, heated and cooled structure.â€? It also Despite the protests, ARF completed limited the number of adult dogs that could its move into the facility Dec. 2. be outside at any one time to 15, and put Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob regulations on air quality, moisture control, D. Fuller at email@example.com.
he Animal Rescue Fund has moved into its new home on Mayes Street. The Miriam Weems Animal Kennel is a no-kill animal shelter now located in a blue metal building in a northcentral Jackson industrial park. Just beyond the reception desk are temporary holding pens made of chain-link fencing where ARF is housing dogs until workers finish building the rest of the permanent pens. Rows of those pens already fill a largeenough portion of the former factory in north Jackson that first-time visitors could get lost among them. Cinderblock makes up three walls of the pens, while the fourth is made of metal fencing and a gate. Beyond the dog pens are two large
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TALK | justice
Jail ‘Pipeline’ Comes Into Focus by R.L. Nave
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he Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Meridian, Miss.; Lauderdale County, taxpayer dollars prosecuting these schoolCenter is finally making needed Miss.; judges of the Lauderdale County based infractions.” repairs to the facility and estab- Youth Court; and the state of Mississippi In two Mississippi school districts— lishing written policies and proce- alleging that the defendants systematically DeSoto County Schools and Jackson dures, but the jail still has a lot of work left violate the due process rights of juveniles Public Schools—more than 90 percent of to turn around what a youth-justice advo- by running a “school-to-prison pipeline.” school arrests are for misdemeanors, not cate earlier this year called a “culfelonies, Lambright said. ture of suppression and harm.” These policies are also The Southern Poverty Law costly to taxpayers. States Center and Disability Rights Misspent nearly $6 billion to lock sissippi filed a class-action lawsuit up 64,558 youth in residenin 2011 alleging that children at tial facilities in 2007. In Misthe Jackson facility were denied sissippi during that period, mental-health care and other re219 youth were incarcerated habilitation services. at a cost of $426.51 per day Plaintiffs also said staff memeach, or $34 million total. bers verbally abused and threatDespite all the cash ened to physically abuse children in being poured into incarcerattheir charge. ing children, the Mississippi As part of a settlement can’t seem to stay out of the reached in March 2012, Michinews—or the courts—for the gan-based juvenile-justice expert way its jails and prisons treat Leonard B. Dixon was appointchildren. In October, the U.S. In DeSoto County Schools and Jackson Public Schools, more ed to monitor Henley Young’s Department of Justice filed a than 90 percent of school arrests are for misdemeanors, not progress. During Dixon’s Seplawsuit against the city of felonies, which some say feeds the school-to-prison pipeline. tember visit, he observed that alMeridian, Lauderdale Counthough the jail facility has made ty and its youth court, and needed cosmetic improvements the state of Mississippi for and started drafting policies systematically violating the and procedures, understaffing remained Not long ago, the term “school-to- due-process rights of children, primarily a problem. prison pipeline” was just a phrase that African Americans and students with dis“In part, because staff members are youth-justice advocates used when dis- abilities. In its report, DOJ officials took burnt out, the residents are not safe. In this cussing rising youth incarceration in the unprecedented step of accusing Meenvironment, there are always (shortcuts) the United States. The term has gone ridian and Lauderdale County of running taken, which could at some point jeop- mainstream, though, with concern over a school-to-prison pipeline. ardize the county because it is constantly school-to-prison pipelines in Mississippi Jerri Katzerman, the SPLC’s depplacing the county at risk of liability and and elsewhere growing. On Dec. 12, the uty legal director, noted the link bereduces any well developed detention/re- U.S. Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on tween poverty and problems with inhabilitative model,” Dixon wrote in his the Constitution, Civil Rights and Hu- carcerated youth in her remarks to the report, filed in federal court last week. man Rights held its first-ever hearing on Senate committee. Dixon also found problems with the ending the school-to-prison pipeline. Sen. “Poverty in our communities seeps school inside the correctional facility. He Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said that these into our schools and classrooms,” Katzerwrote: “From my previous visits and my pipelines “deprive children their funda- man told the subcommittee. “This leads more focused observation during this mental right to an education,” during the to fewer resources and qualified teachers visit, the school is dysfunctional.” hearing, which attracted so many specta- and professionals. Mississippi is the only Dysfunctionality between the state’s tors it had to be moved to a bigger room. state in the country with no state-funded schools, law enforcement agencies, courts “Sadly, there are schools that look pre-kindergarten program.” and youth jails have thrust Mississippi’s more like prisons than places for young Lambright said she and other socialeducational and youth-justice systems people to learn and grow,” Durbin said justice advocates would lobby lawmakinto national focus over the years, but in his opening remarks. “This school-to- ers to introduce bills aimed at preventadvocates hope policy changes are on prison pipeline has moved scores of young ing mass incarceration as well as to help the horizon. people from classrooms.” people coming out of prison. In January, In 2003, the U.S. Justice DepartZero-tolerance discipline policies, the Mississippi NAACP, American Civil ment cited Oakley Training School in many of which started as a response to Liberties Union and the Advancement Hinds County and the Columbia Train- playground bullying and other forms of Project, a multicultural civil-rights group ing School in Marion County for civil- in-school violence, contribute to feeding headquartered in Washington, D.C., will rights violations. In November 2010, the the school-to-prison pipeline, said Nsom- issue a report that focuses on training for Southern Poverty Law Center sued on be- bi Lambright of the Mississippi State school-resource officers and other law enhalf of children claiming physical, sexual Conference of the NAACP. forcement agencies that work in schools. and psychological abuse at the privately “It’s very easy for students to be ar“Unless a crime happens, police run Walnut Grove Youth Correctional rested for normal teenage behavior,” officers don’t need to be in schools,” Center in Leake County. Lambright told the Jackson Free Press. Lambright said. In October, the Justice Department “These (arrests) turn into criminal ofComment at www.jfp.ms. Contact filed a lawsuit today against the city of fenses that tie up our court system and R.L. Nave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TALK | justice
We’re No. 2! by Ronni Mott
ississippi rises toward the top in the number of people executed in 2012. There, the Magnolia State is tied for the No. 2 spot with Arizona and Oklahoma with six executions each. Texas tops the list by putting 15 of its death-row inmates to death last year. But even with six states seeing a slight increase in executions last year, death-penalty opponents will find plenty to cheer about in “The Death Penalty in 2012: Year End Report” from the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center. First, Connecticut became the fifth U.S. state in as many years to abolish the death penalty as punishment, joining New Jersey, New York, New Mexico and Illinois. In all, 29 states no longer include the death penalty among punishments or have not executed a prisoner in the past five years; 17 states have abolished it entirely. Second, only nine states out of 50 carried out executions last year, down from 13 in 2011. Three of those—Ohio, Delaware and Idaho—saw either a reduction or no increase in deaths. The application of the death penalty has also decreased. “Last year, there were fewer than 100 death sentences, for the first time since the death penalty was rein-
stated in 1976,” the report states. “This year, the number remained well below 100.” The death penalty is an anachronism in the justice system. Seventy-nine percent of all U.S. executions were in only four states. %XECUTIONS BY 3TATE 7H[DV $UL]RQD 2NODKRPD 0LVVLVVLSSL 2KLR )ORULGD 6RXWK'DNRWD 'HODZDUH ,GDKR $ODEDPD *HRUJLD 9LUJLQLD 6RXWK&DUROLQD 0LVVRXUL