Nossiter Finds Real Culprit Behind MS Reform School Abuse - Low Taxes

In Thursday's "Lawsuit Filed Over Treatment of Girls at State Reform School in Mississippi," Southern-based reporter Adam Nossiter looked at abuse at a state reform school for troubled teenage girl. But to Nossiter, the real culprit was -low state tax rates.

"Reports of what the lawsuit calls 'widespread abuse' at the Columbia school and a similar institution for boys, the Oakley school, are not new. In 1977 a federal judge curtailed the use of isolation cells and pushed for the hiring of doctors; five years ago the State Legislature found numerous inadequacies; and four years ago the Justice Department discovered that young offenders were being hogtied, shackled, choked and beaten. The department sued Mississippi over those and other abuses, and a settlement was reached in 2005.

"But in a low-tax, low-spending state where, advocates say, care for troubled young offenders is a low public priority, abuses have persisted. At a legislative hearing last month there was testimony about guards' making sexual propositions to the girls, shackling and other problems. Meanwhile, a recent report by a Justice Department official monitoring the settlement found persistent deficiencies, particularly in protecting the children from harm."

The liberal source for the lawsuit was revealed deep into the story: "The lawsuit, filed by a branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center of Montgomery, Ala...."

Back in February, Nossiter also used the left-wing SPLC to attack "fanatics about property rights."

"The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization in Montgomery, Ala., says the Abbeville area, in the western part of the state, has attracted others like the Bixbys - fanatics about property rights and resistance to authority who find the Confederate heritage nourishing. 'We've pointed out that that area is one of the hotbeds,' said Mark Potok, a staff director at the center.