This week, a federal judge in Southern Mississippi gave new life to the words, "Let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream."
Judge Carleton Reeves — only the second African-American to serve on the federal bench in Mississippi's history — entered a blistering order giving final approval to a consent decree that bans the horrendous practice of subjecting kids convicted as adults to solitary confinement and requires the state to move such kids out of the brutally violent privately run prison where they are currently housed.
The consent decree settles a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of 1,200 Mississippi youth, ages 13 to 22, confined to the Walnut Grove Correctional Center. That prison is operated by the GEO Group, the second-largest private prison operator in the world. The lawsuit detailed monstrous abuses by GEO staff — including peddling drugs to the teenagers in their custody and subjecting them to brutal beatings, sexual exploitation and solitary confinement.