In April 2015, in federal court, the ACLU National Prison Project, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and McDuff & Byrd are all participating in a hearing that seeks to prove that the Mississippi Department of Corrections is violating the Eighth Amendment rights of all prisoners at Walnut Grove Correctional Facility to protection from violence. The department contracts with a for-profit prison operator, Management and Training Corporation (MTC), to run Walnut Grove. Over the years it has been proven that MTC has failed to implement fundamental security measures to ensure prisoner safety, which resulted in two major riots in 2014 that left 25 prisoners seriously injured. Three years ago, the Mississippi Department of Corrections agreed to take specific measures to reduce the violence at Walnut Grove when it settled a federal lawsuit brought by the ACLU National Prison Project and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The 2012 case decided that children under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) would no longer be housed in a privately run prison or subjected to brutal solitary confinement. The lawsuit charged that conditions at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, operated by GEO Group, Inc., were unconstitutional.

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