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To: Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr, Sheriff Bill Oldham and Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael

Update DOJ to continue monitoring

Update DOJ to continue monitoring

Update on October 26, 2017:
The US DOJ notified local parties they will not end the monitoring of Juvenille Court. They acknowledged that progress has been made but that there is still work to be done.

WE WANT SHELBY COUNTY TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION:

1. Immediately take back Shelby County’s request for the U.S. Department of Justice to end its federal monitoring of Shelby County Juvenile Court.

2. Strengthen the community oversight group and seek input from the broader community on ending the court’s discrimination against black children.

3. Appoint a new county settlement agreement manager (to replace the manager who recently retired) who will report progress directly to the Shelby County Commission.

4. Continue to monitor and collect data as required in the original agreement with the DOJ. Publish the data in an easily accessible and understandable format.

Why is this important?

We can't be silent while our children suffer!

We need Juvenile Court to stop trying to avoid treating our children fairly and DO THE WORK to treat our children
fairly. Our community’s children deserve better.

Black children in Shelby County, Tennessee are being mistreated by the Shelby County Juvenile Court.

Black children are STILL being arrested, detained and sent to adult court at higher rates than their white peers for the SAME actions. Our children need you – please sign this petition to make our county officials do right by our community’s greatest asset.... OUR CHILDREN!

We will deliver this petition to Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr, Sheriff Bill Oldham, Shelby Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael and all county commissioners.

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice stated that, “We have reasonable cause to believe that JCMSC (Juvenile Court of Memphis Shelby County) fails to ensure due process for all children appearing for delinquency proceedings. In addition, we find that JCMSC’s administration of justice discriminates against Black children. We have reasonable cause to believe that JCMSC fails to ensure due process for all children appearing for delinquency proceedings. Further, we find that JCMSC violates the substantive due process rights of detained youth by not providing them with reasonably safe conditions of confinement."

WHY NOW?
Even though Shelby County Juvenile Court has fixed many problems with due process and safe confinement, it has not fixed the problem with discrimination. Nevertheless, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to end its federal monitoring of the county juvenile justice system.

MLK50’s Wendi C. Thomas wrote that on June 9, Luttrell, Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham and Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael sent a letter to the Department of Justice. Her story also said that the Shelby County Commission was not notified about the letter.

This letter was sent without any community input. We can not leave our children unprotected. We do not believe that a court that discriminates against our children – even when being watched – will do a better job when no one is watching.

Remember, we need Juvenile Court to stop trying to avoid treating our children fairly and DO THE WORK to treat our children
fairly. Our community’s children deserve better.

WE ARE WATCHING! OUR CHILDREN MATTER!

LEARN MORE:

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism: Juvy Court’s discrimination goes on, but mayor wants federal oversight to end
https://mlk50.com/juvy-courts-discrimination-goes-on-but-mayor-wants-federal-oversight-to-end-cc8e6af6f4a3

The Commercial Appeal: Mayor, sheriff seek end to federal monitoring of Shelby County juvenile justice system
http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/2017/06/17/mayor-sheriff-seek-end-federal-monitoring-shelby-county-juvenile-justice-system/406385001/

December 2012 Department of Justice Press Release, “Department of Justice Enters into Agreement to Reform the
Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee”:
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-enters-agreement-reform-juvenile-court-memphis-and-shelby-county-tennessee

December 2012 Department of Justice Agreement with Juvenile Court:
http://shelbycountytn.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/4255

How it will be delivered

We will deliver the petition to Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr, Sheriff Bill Oldham, Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael and all County Commissioners in person.

Shelby County, TN, United States

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • Because they have right's and it was wrong for them to send a letter without giving proper notice to everyone
  • I signed the petition because the Juvenile Court system made a wrongful ruling against me trying to get my children back. I had asked my cousin to temporary care for them until I became stable enough to provide an adequate place to live. My cousin was granted custody of two of my children and the youngest was placed back into a family in which she had been sexually exploited and molested.
  • We must insist that our Black Children are treated fairly. Let the federal monitoring continue until the injustices are uncovered and corrected.

Updates

2017-06-21 07:16:44 -0700

500 signatures reached

2017-06-19 11:13:07 -0700

100 signatures reached

2017-06-19 07:14:13 -0700

50 signatures reached

2017-06-18 22:29:21 -0700

25 signatures reached

2017-06-18 11:00:06 -0700

10 signatures reached