St. Louis Area High School Sports Scores

Judge: St. Louis jails can’t hold inmates who can’t pay

ST. LOUIS – A federal judge says St. Louis jails must stop holding inmates simply because they can’t pay bail.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig issued her decision Tuesday. Her ruling gives officials a week to hold new detention hearings for current inmates and says new arrestees must have a hearing within 48 hours.

At issue is the lawsuit’s assertion that defendants typically don’t get a hearing on release conditions until obtaining counsel. Appointment of a public defender can take a month or more, so the lawsuit says those too poor to hire an attorney often linger behind bars.

The ruling still allows inmates to be held they pose a danger to the community or there’s no other way to ensure they show up for court.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.