After Discrimination Finding, Jury's Out On Memphis Juvenile Courts : NPR: For people connected to the Memphis juvenile courts, April 2012 is unforgettable. That's when federal investigators determined that the Shelby County juvenile court system discriminated against African-American defendants.
The Justice Department said that the system punished black children more harshly than whites. In the most incendiary finding, investigators said the court detained black children and sent them to be tried in the adult system twice as often as whites.
The finding came after a three-year investigation, but not everyone in the Shelby County court system buys it. "I said I've been here a long time. I've never seen any evidence of that happening," says Judge Curtis Person. He's led the Shelby County juvenile court in Memphis for the past eight years, and steadfastly denies allegations of discrimination.