JACKSON – Mississippi’s Department of Human Services has been ordered to pay $500,000 for failing to protect a child who said he was sexually abused while in DHS custody.
The Clarion-Ledger reports that the case dates back several years: In 2004, Circuit Judge Winston Kidd found that DHS breached its duty to protect and care for the youth. Kidd awarded the youth and his family $750,000.
The Mississippi Court of Appeals Court in 2007 upheld Kidd’s findings, but ordered a new trial on damages.
Kidd recently amended the award to$500,000. Attorneys for DHS asked him to reconsider, but Kidd refused and entered the $500,000 as the final judgment.
Kidd said DHS failed to make required face-to-face contacts with the youth, failed to sufficiently investigate the report of sexual abuse and failed to provide counseling for the boy when he returned home. The case dates to the mid-1990s..
The youth was 14 when he was removed from his home in Jackson and sent 150 miles away to licensed chemical-dependency treatment centers in Ackerman and Starkville in late 1996, according to court records.
After he was returned to his mother, the youth said he had been sexually assaulted by staffers at the facilities
NEMS Daily Journal