Not enough room for St. Louis inmates at county jail
CLAYTON, MO (AP) – An advisory board for the St. Louis County Jail warns that the facility does not have enough space to accommodate inmates from a long-criticized city jail called the workhouse.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mayor Tishaura Jones has promised to close the city jail, whose official name is the Medium Security Institution. It’s one of two in town.
However, board members said the county jail, located in the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, has too many inmates and too few employees to safely handle some of the overflow, as city officials suggested.
The county jail’s population grew about 40% over the past year, largely due to the increase in the number of pre-trial detainees whose trials were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, acting director Doug Burris said at the advisory board meeting on Friday .
It now houses around 1,000 prisoners with a capacity of around 1,283. The workhouse currently houses 331 inmates.
Meanwhile, the county jail has struggled to recruit skilled applicants to fill about 45 long prison officer vacancies, Burris said.
Jones and county executive Sam Page spokespersons said Tuesday there had been no further talks regarding the placement of townspeople in the county.