ST. LOUIS — Several members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the President of the Board, Megan Green, released statements on the two deaths at the City Justice Center. Both the aldermen and Green said the number of deaths at the center in the past few years is concerning, with two happening in the last two weeks. Green called the deaths inexcusable and called for more transparency at the Justice Center and across city government.

President Green’s statement on the deaths at the City Justice Center:

“Nine deaths in two years—two within two weeks—is appalling. This level of neglect and misconduct requires an immediate change in leadership at the City Justice Center (CJC) and greater oversight of our correctional facilities.

These deaths are inexcusable; individuals at the CJC—who are awaiting trial and legally innocent until proven otherwise—have rights. CJC residents should have basic necessities, proper medical care, and the right to due process. Awaiting trial should not be a death sentence.

The Detention Facility Oversight Board (DFOB) was created to bring transparency to our correctional institutions after years of reported abuses. The establishing ordinance has been interpreted by the city counselor’s office in a way that has prevented DFOB members from holding the City Justice Center and its leadership accountable. Requiring the DFOB to only access information through the city counselor’s office—the same office charged with shielding the city from litigation—creates an inherent conflict of interest and obstructs the DFOB from providing effective oversight.

My office and members of the Public Safety Committee will lend our support to the DFOB by updating ordinance 71430 this session. While that process will take time, we understand that an immediate shift toward transparency and accountability is needed across city government. We have to put the welfare and interests of the public first—and part of that is making sure they have access to information.

Governance is a shared responsibility, and city residents cannot do their part if we keep them in the dark.”

St. Louis Board of Alderman President Megan Green

Statement from the St. Louis Public Safety Committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen: