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VOL. 41 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 23, 2017

Advocates: Tennessee juvenile court needs federal oversight

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MEMPHIS (AP) — A group of Tennessee lawmakers and residents are opposing a request from three Shelby County officials requesting the Department of Justice terminate oversight of its juvenile court.

Media outlets report that in a June 9 letter, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael and Sheriff Bill Oldham asked for oversight to end, citing progress in meeting DOJ standards. Federal oversight began in 2012 after a report found multiple failings in the system.

On Tuesday, Rep. Raumesh Akbari, County Commissioner Van Turner and the Memphis NAACP penned their own letter asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions continue oversight. They say the court continues to discriminate against black children, and cite a November 2016 report by an independent monitor that says "little has changed" in the court since 2012.

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