The Independent Assessment is a study on children's mental health services conducted by Boston-based Technical Assistance Collaborative, a nonprofit organization with extensive experience in the area of mental health.  It was completed as one of the conditions of the Justice Department forgoing suing Mississippi as delineated in this letter.

The timeline that follows describes what has happened with this assessment.


  • Fall 2014 – Families as Allies helps the  TAC assessment team reach out to families to gather input, under the following conditions: 1) The DOJ, TAC and the State verbally agreed the resulting report will be public, and 2) TAC verified that no one from its partner organization, the University of Maryland, who had a pre-existing contractual relationship would be on the assessment team.   TAC Contract
  • March 6, 2015 – State receives final copy of assessment report for children’s mental health system and Families as Allies verbally requests a copy.
  • March 9, 2015 – Attorney General Jim Hood’s office verbally announces report will not be made public and there are no plans to ever make it public. 
  • March 12, 2015 – Families as Allies makes a written request via email  for a copy of the assessment report from United States Department of Justice through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), in part based on the fact that DOJ attorneys repeatedly indicated and never denied that report would  be public.
  • March 14, 2015 -  Families as Allies makes a written request via email  for  copy of the assessment report from Attorney General Jim Hood.
  • March 27, 2015- Attorney General Hood denies written request for copy of assessment report via email.
  • April 2, 2015 – United States Department of Justice denies Families as Allies FOIA request for report.
  • May 6, 2015 – Southern Poverty Law Center signs agreement to not disclose Independent Assessment report as a condition of accessing report in negotiations. SPLC Agreement
  • June 24, 2015 – Clarion Ledger moves to intervene in Troupe   in order to vacate Protective Order keeping independent assessment report from being released.  Families as Allies provides an affidavit.
  • July 8, 2015 - The State responds to the Clarion Ledger's Lawsuit. Defendant's Response,  Memorandum of Authorities in Support of Defendant
  • August 28, 2015- The Magistrate rules that the report cannot be made public during negotiations, but it can be pursued again when there are no longer negotiations. Judge's Order
  • December 18, 2015 – Families as Allies sends letter to AG Hood requesting that he follow up on his suggestion of meeting with families.  We also request that the assessment be made public given there are no longer negotiations due to negotiations failing and being terminated.
  • January  4, 2016 Families as Allies establishes petition asking AG Hood to release the assessment.
  • January 11, 2016 - AG Hood's response to Families as Allies December 18 letter.
  • August 3, 2016 – Clarion Ledger again sues for independent assessment to be released  given there are no longer negotiations. Renewed Motion to Vacate Protective OrderBrief in Support of Renewed Motion
  • August 22, 2016 – State files motion opposing Clarion Ledger’s request. Memorandum of Authorities Supporting Defendant's Response
  • October 19, 2016 - Magistrate denies order to vacate protective order and make assessment public.  Order Denying Vacating of Protective Order
  • November 1, 2016 - Clarion Ledger Appeals Magistrate's Ruling.  Appeal
  • November 8, 2016 - State's Response to Clarion Ledger's Appeal

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  • Dominic DeLeo
    published this page in Mental Health 2016-11-15 14:40:23 -0600

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