ST. LOUIS – A revelation during Wednesday’s meeting of the new St. Louis Corrections Task Force. Some members believe Justice Center leaders kept them out of areas with the most complaints and they’re demanding a return.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson created the task force after last month’s riot in which more than 100 inmates escaped their cells and broke out windows.
Nothing is supposed to be off-limits in the investigation and some members were allowed a recent tour. However, it came out in today’s meeting that task force members were prohibited from the fifth floor of the Justice Center.
Tracy Stanton, a former inmate in today’s meeting who is now part of a criminal justice reform group called EXPO, pointed out that the fifth floor draws the most complaints from inmates.
“There’s a lot of things going on the fifth floor and the fact you all don’t have access – if the task force is supposed to be addressing the issues of CJC, then that should include the fifth floor as well,” Stanton said. “So, them saying they don’t want to add stress to the detainees (by letting you on that floor), that doesn’t sit well with me.”
Task force member and former Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed said it’s imperative they see the fifth floor of the Justice Center.
“We need to figure out a way to get on that fifth floor and begin to talk to those detainees, so we can have a clear understanding as to what’s happening in the Justice Center and if we’re not able to do that, we should pack up and go home,” she said.
Task force chairman Rev. Darryl Gray agreed that they need to return with full access or their report won’t be complete.
The task force meets again Thursday at 8 a.m.