ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A day after the unrest at the City Justice Center, some fear another uprising could occur unless the proposed changes are implemented quickly.
A group of inmates caused chaos and unrest at the downtown St. Louis justice center on Sunday evening, the second time such an uprising has taken place in recent months.
A group of inmates caused unrest and chaos at the justice center on Sunday night, smashing windows, throwing things out of windows and setting things on fire. The incident occurred two months after a similar disruption. After this incident, a Correctional Task Force was formed to investigate. The task force made 68 recommendations and presented them to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s office. One member of this panel claims that these ideas were not implemented quickly enough.
“Are we waiting for someone to die? Or for someone to be seriously injured before we do the right thing?” said Darryl Gray, a member of the Corrections Task Force. “I am frustrated that they weren’t implemented with the pace and urgency that those of us on the task force thought was going to happen.”
High on the list of recommendations is repairing faulty locks and giving detainees more leisure time and visiting hours. Gray also suggests setting up an oversight committee. Members would act as spokespersons for inmates and staff, ensuring their voices are heard.
“You talk to some of the older inmates, they say they’re younger inmates, they haven’t done long before, so they have that energy. They’re excited, you’ve got Easter and they can’t see theirs. family, they can “not go to court, it’s going to happen,” Gray said.
7th Ward Councilor and former Deputy District Attorney Jack Coatar said the facility was not secure enough to hold inmates charged with serious crimes.
“It’s embarrassing yet again, we’re going to be on the national news for a prison uprising,” Coatar said. “It doesn’t appear that the City Justice Center can safely hold inmates. From what we’ve seen last night and what we’ve seen in recent weeks, the inmates seem to be running the place.”
Coatar says Justice Center officials can start by not housing detainees in cells where the locks don’t work. For now, he believes the inmates should be moved to Hall Street medium security facility (also known as The Workhouse). On Monday, the St. Louis Correctional Commissioner said his team was already working on many of the recommendations put forward, including allowing in-person visits, which began last Monday.
Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved