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

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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.


Latest News

More News