ST. LOUIS – About a dozen detainees beat and kicked four detainees at the St. Louis Justice Center early Saturday morning.
The incident happened just before 12:30 a.m. during recreation time in a secure area on the fourth floor, said Dan Isom, interim director of the city’s Department of Public Safety.
“Corrections officers extracted the targets of the attacks from the unit and de-escalated the situation using OC spray,” Isom said from a prepared statement.
The victims were taken to an area hospital for treatment. Their injuries were not life-threatening and they’ve since returned to the CJC, Isom said. One person is believed to have suffered a broken bone in their hand.
Meanwhile, the detainees who committed the attack were transported to the St. Louis City Justice Center annex, which is the “back portion of The Workhouse,” Isom said. That area was built in the mid-1990s and keeps detainees and inmates separated into pods of attached cells, with just one or two detainees in each cell.
“This brings the CJC annex’s current population to approximately 80, with more to be transferred to expedite the upgrades at the CJC facility,” Isom said.
St. Louis Police have review surveillance footage and consulted with CJC guards. They’ve filed warrants against the suspected attackers and charges are expected soon.
Upgrades to the St. Louis Justice Center will include upgraded doors, locks, and locking systems up to standard. Isom said the city is attempting to move all detainees from the third floor so construction can take place at one time and, hopefully, be completed faster. It’s estimated work on the third floor will take between three and four months.
“The city is committed to remaining transparent around the status of the CJC and to advocate for a fair and speedy trial for pretrial detainees, as well as restorative justice to reduce recidivism among returning citizens who have served their time,” Isom said.
The public safety director said recreation time cuts off at 1 a.m. and the CJC tries to spread that time for detainees in blocks throughout the day.