St. Louis, MO (KTRS) The concerns over the conditions at the St. Louis City Workhouse is drawing attention from activists outside of the St. Louis area.
Local activists have joined forces with a coalition of national organizations to launched a national bail fundraising effort. Organizers are doing so in response to the jail’s lack of air conditioning during the heat wave.
“Virtually every single person suffering in the Workhouse right now is innocent under the law yet being punished because of poverty. Hundreds are on suicide watch and hundreds more want treatment for addiction and mental health issues. Even when it’s 75 degrees, these folks need treatment, not punishment. It’s 102 today and there’s no air conditioning. Shut it down.” Thomas Harvey, Executive Director, Arch City Defenders said.
“We are happy to support local activists in the midst of this crisis at the St. Louis Jail. The real tragedy here is that a facility like this would not even exist if we actually applied the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ Instead, we have prioritized the needs of a corrupt for-profit bail system above the safety of people in St Louis and now we are seeing the ugly results.” said Scott Roberts, Sr. Criminal Justice Campaigns Director, Color of Change and National Bail Out Fund Advisory Committee Member.
This comes after protests erupted outside of the workhouse on Friday night.
Activists say with a single Facebook post, the effort has identified over 100 inmates seeking bail support through requests from friends and family. Bail has been posted for at least 15 people who will begin being released on Saturday.