Southern Poverty Law Center

18 things you should know about mass incarceration

Southern Poverty Law Center

SPLC urges investigation of Louisiana program failing at-risk children

The SPLC urged federal officials today to investigate Louisiana’s Coordinated System of Care program, which is failing to prevent young people with severe behavioral health needs from being unnecessarily funneled into detention centers and hospitals. In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the SPLC and the Advocacy Center describe how the program is plagued with long wait lists and major gaps in services. The program was created to provide mental health and other services...
Southern Poverty Law Center

Stories from the field: SPLC legislation helps Louisiana youth receive second chance at school

Jessica* was a 10th-grader in a small school district outside of New Orleans when she withdrew from school because she was pregnant. After having her baby, she wanted to finish high school and get a diploma. But school officials said she was no longer eligible for public school because she was 17, had voluntarily withdrawn and was a parent. John* faced a similar situation. He had been held back a grade twice – once because of the disruption caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and a second time...
Southern Poverty Law Center

SPLC staffers travel to Missouri to march for justice

Six staffers from the SPLC’s Alabama office traveled to St. Louis on Oct. 10 to take part in the Ferguson October campaign. Sparked by the police shooting deaths of several black teenagers in the region, and amplified by a growing sense of racial injustice, it is a month-long campaign of awareness, resistance and civil disobedience in the area. The SPLC employees joined thousands of peaceful protesters from across the United States in marching through St. Louis, raising their voices for those...
Southern Poverty Law Center

Stories from the field: Meeting with frightened child sparked juvenile detention center lawsuit

About three years ago, I met a sad, scared little boy at the Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center in Jackson, Mississippi.  When he entered the room at the detention center, I asked him how things were going. “Not good,” he responded. He then burst into tears. I sat there trying to calm down this frightened 12-year-old with serious mental health conditions. It wasn’t an easy task. He had been mocked by staff members for crying, and forced to stay in his cell for more than 20 hours a day. He had...
Southern Poverty Law Center

SPLC victorious in challenge to Alabama’s immigrant ‘scarlet letter’ law

It was a minor offense with potentially big consequences in Alabama. In November 2012, four Latino immigrants were arrested for fishing without a license – a misdemeanor. But under a provision of the state’s anti-immigrant law, if immigrants appearing in state court could not prove their legal status, they would have their names placed on an online list available to anyone. That raised concerns for immigrants in Alabama, who reported that the anti-immigrant law passed by the state a year...
Southern Poverty Law Center

A tent too large: the Republican Party and anti-LGBT bigotry

RNC Chair Reince Priebus yesterday said something predictable and something startling in response to the Supreme Court’s refusal to overturn court decisions clearing the way for same-sex marriage.The predictable was his continued defense of the Republican Party’s position that marriage should be limited to a man and a woman.The startling was his invoking of the names of Tony Perkins and David Lane to support the party’s position.“People like David Lane and people like Tony Perkins are right to...
Southern Poverty Law Center

Secret Service failures are cause for concern after numerous extremist plots

With its recent bumbling, the long-respected U.S. Secret Service is beginning to look like the Keystone Kops. But there’s nothing funny about the agency’s security lapses, particularly for the nation’s first black president, a man who is the target of enormous rage on America’s radical right. For those of us who monitor racist and antigovernment extremists, it’s not surprising that, as The Washington Post reported, President Obama has faced three times as many threats as his predecessors. After...
Southern Poverty Law Center

Far-right religious extremists show true colors at Values Voter Summit

Last week, the SPLC and a coalition of civil rights groups published an open letter to Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus urging him to tell party members to disassociate themselves from the Family Research Council and other groups behind the Values Voter Summit because of their bigotry and use of falsehoods to demonize the LGBT community. True to form, the speakers at the weekend summit attacked not only the LGBT community but Muslims as well, even as they sought to portray...
Southern Poverty Law Center

SPLC to host events highlighting reform efforts during Youth Justice Awareness Month

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