WPLN and ProPublica on Friday published a joint investigation into Rutherford County's juvenile justice system.
- The sweeping piece, which is getting national attention, includes a detailed examination of the controversial 2016 arrests of elementary students on a criminal charge that doesn't actually exist.
Why it matters: Rutherford County's approach to juvenile justice has faced scrutiny for years. The new investigation profiles the 2016 arrests and the adults behind the system, and shows how many of them have escaped serious consequences.
- The investigation included 2014 data showing Rutherford County locked up kids in 48% of its juvenile court cases. The statewide average was 5%.
Background: The county in June agreed to pay up to $11 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging more than 1,000 children had been illegally incarcerated.
- As much as $7.75 million will go to children who were arrested or incarcerated under Rutherford County policies.
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