St. Louis Mayor’s 2022 budget proposal includes closing ‘The Workhouse’

ST. LOUIS, MO. – A budget proposal by the newly elected Mayor Tishaura Jones for fiscal year 2022 contains a plan to close “The Workhouse”. The medium security prison was a rallying point for activists after FOX 2’s Elliott Davis exposed inhumane conditions.

Closing The Workhouse would save the city $ 7.8 million, according to estimates by St. Louis City. This money would be used to balance the city’s budget and services for inmates. Over $ 1 million will support social workers, case management, mental health services, and childcare.

Without air conditioning, inmates of St. Louis jail scream for help during the heat wave

“Since 2016 I have been calling for the workhouse to be closed due to inhumane conditions including broken plumbing, inadequate medical care, moldy food and contaminated water. not to mention a toxic culture of abuse, retaliation and neglect among law enforcement officials. The injustice caused by these dehumanizing conditions is compounded by the fact that most city detainees have not been convicted of any crime and the average length of stay is longer than 300 days. I am proud to begin separating our city from our expensive arrest and imprisonment model and shifting time, energy and money towards a public safety strategy that focuses on addressing the root causes of violent crime, ”writes Mayor Tishaura Jones.

Protests in front of the St. Louis Workhouse over prison conditions

The budget proposal did not specify where people would go at The Workhouse after it closed.

The Board of Estimation and Apportionment will hold a budget hearing on Friday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. for public comment.

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