TN county seeks end to federal oversight of juvenile justice

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee county has requested an end to federal oversight of its juvenile court system.

The Commercial Appeal reports ( ) that in a letter dated June 9, Shelby County officials cited progress in meeting standards set by the Department of Justice. The DOJ began oversight in 2012 after a report found failings in the system, including discrimination, unsafe confinement conditions and lack of due process.

The letter was signed by the county mayor, sheriff and a juvenile court judge. The letter states the county has spent millions on personnel and initiatives including upgraded training and auditing, along with a contract to provide around-the-clock medical care.

Josh Spickler, the executive director of local advocacy group Just City, pushed back on officials’ account, saying that independent monitors aren’t satisfied with reform progress.