Five black youths accused of beating a white high school student in Jena, La., amid racial tension sparked by nooses hung on the high school campus, have pleaded no contest to misdemeanor simple battery charges as part of an agreement to resolve a case that sparked a massive civil rights protest on their behalf.

The Louisiana Klan leader indicted for the murder of a woman who tried to quit his group coerced three of his sons to join the Klan and used threats of violence to keep members from leaving, according to an interview with his wife in the latest issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, released today. The case has brought back troubling memories of a town where Klansmen fiercely resisted the civil rights movement.

Immigrants have become the target of choice for many hate groups, and anti-immigrant rhetoric in the mainstream media isn't helping. Thanks to the newest teaching kit from the SPLC's Teaching Tolerance program, an estimated 2 million high school students saw a more accurate portrayal of America's immigrant history in the 2008-09 school year.

The United States may be faltering as an economic powerhouse, but we're still No. 1 in one important category: locking people up. With one out of every 100 adults behind bars, we're ahead of China, Rwanda, Cuba and every other country. Our prisoner population has nearly tripled over the past two decades.

The SPLC today released a blueprint for reducing Louisiana's alarming student and teacher dropout rates as part of an ongoing effort to improve the state's schools. The state's high school dropout rate is among the worst in the country.

The U.S. Department of Labor should repeal Bush administration regulations that have shredded labor protections for foreign guestworkers and aggressively enforce labor laws to protect all workers from exploitation, a Southern Poverty Law Center expert told a U.S. House subcommittee today.

Low-income Latino immigrants in the South are routinely the targets of wage theft, racial profiling and other abuses driven by an anti-immigrant climate that harms all Latinos regardless of their immigration status, according to a report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Southern Poverty Law Center today filed a federal class action suit to stop the "shockingly inhumane" treatment of children at a juvenile detention center and to force officials to provide sanitary facilities and mental health treatment to young people confined there.

A new intelligence assessment by the Department of Homeland Security warns of extremist recruitment fueled by the faltering economy, the election of Barack Obama and fears about Latino immigration — factors the Southern Poverty Law Center has previously cited as underpinning the growth of hate groups and extremist activity.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is encouraging school districts across the country to use federal stimulus money to establish Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) in their schools — an innovative approach to discipline that reduces student misbehavior and improves achievement and attendance.