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Children's Rights
Landmark Case

Date Filed

October 13, 1998

An African-American teenager was denied school enrollment simply because she was homeless. The Center immediately sued, and "Penny Doe" was soon enrolled in school. The case was settled with officials adopting policies to ensure compliance with federal law.

Hate & Extremism

Date Filed

June 05, 1984

In the mid-1980s, a North Carolina Klan group was one of the most militant and violent, engaging in paramilitary-style training, using U.S. military personnel to prepare recruits for combat. After a series of terrorizing incidents, the Center sued the Klan and won court orders shutting down their illegal training camps.

Criminal Justice Reform

Date Filed

May 13, 1999

The Alabama DOC prohibited its prisoners from receiving gift subscriptions for publications. Inmates were forced to buy subscriptions from their prison trust accounts.

Criminal Justice Reform
Landmark Case

Date Filed

February 26, 1974

Conditions in Alabama's prisons were an inhumane nightmare - violent, overcrowded and unsanitary. In a 1976 landmark ruling, a federal judge declared the prisons "wholly unfit for human habitation" and ordered detailed reforms.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

January 11, 2012

African-American students in Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish Public Schools were disproportionately arrested for minor rule violations across the school district. These students often experienced physical abuse while being detained, including one student whose arm was broken as sheriff’s officers detained him. They were also subjected to racially offensive language and other inappropriate comments while being detained. The U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation after the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a complaint describing these conditions.

Criminal Justice Reform
Active Case

Date Filed

September 19, 2019

Children tried and convicted as adults for sex offenses in Alabama are subject to the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act, which imposes a lifetime obligation to register as a sex offender. The SPLC filed a lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs who as children were tried...

Children's Rights
Landmark Case

Date Filed

November 15, 1988

Concerned about inappropriate services and mental health treatment provided to children placed in Alabama foster care, the Center joined with mental health lawyers and sued in 1988, forcing drastic changes in the ways these cases are handled.

Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

March 29, 2004

Linda Barrera Cano, 11, was taken from her mother, Felipa Barrera, and placed in foster care after her immigrant mother was ordered to learn English in six months or risk losing her daughter.

Landmark Case

Date Filed

July 17, 1973

The Relf sisters challenged the constitutionality of government regulations that allowed federal funds to be used to sterilize minors and mentally-challenged women who were not competent to consent to the procedure.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

May 18, 2017

As part of budget cuts across state departments, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant ordered nearly $20 million in funding cut from public schools in February and March of 2017.

The SPLC filed a suit, on behalf of two legislators, contending that the governor lacked authority for the action...

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