Jody E. Owens, II, leads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mississippi efforts to reform the state’s juvenile justice system and to represent vulnerable children. His work has brought to light horrific and unconstitutional conditions forced upon children and youth in many for-profit and public juvenile detention facilities in Mississippi. Previously, he was an attorney at a nationally-recognized law firm in Jackson, Miss., where he successfully litigated a variety of cases, including civil rights and constitutional law cases. He also served as a Special Prosecutor for the District Attorney’s office of Hinds County, Miss., where he prosecuted felony and misdemeanor cases. He is a graduate of Jackson State University and Howard University School of Law.