Inmates at St. Louis Justice Center break windows, set fires

The incident came less than two months after a February 6 riot that took a correction officer to the hospital

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Police responded to the downtown prison Sunday night after inmates broke windows, started fires and dumped debris on the street Sunday night.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department posted an all-points bulletin on the city’s police radios Sunday evening after inmates on the third floor of the justice center reportedly covered cameras. A short time later, inmates began breaking windows and throwing things on the street. At around 9:30 a.m., smoke poured out of the broken windows.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Civil Disturbance Team was among the officers who responded to the scene.

The incident occurs about two months after inmates broke out of their cells and became indignant. In the early hours of February 6th, 117 inmates at the downtown justice center broke from their cells.

They smashed windows, lit fires, and threw chairs, a filing cabinet, and other items through the broken glass onto the street four floors below. A correction officer was briefly hospitalized.

It was the third downtown prison riot since December, according to the Associated Press.

The incident sparked an investigation into the broken locks at the justice center.

And St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson appointed a task force to deal with issues in prison, including:

  • Investigating complaints about conditions in prison
  • The backlog of cases before the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court
  • Any necessary repairs to the building

An investigation by the I-Team found that the city’s corrections department was missing about 72 guards on the day 100 inmates in the downtown prison attacked a guard and became agitated.

The personnel issue is one of several that the I-Team has uncovered in internal memos since the February 6 riot. The documents from police commanders to correction officers, including Commissioner Dale Glass, summed up a variety of security concerns – including staff levels.

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