JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.– Several Missouri State Representatives are calling for an investigation into the use and possible misuse of funding at the St. Louis Justice Center. This move comes after at least the third riot in four months at the facility.
State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, along with four other lawmakers sent a letter to the St. Louis Corrections Commissioner Dale Glass, Mayor Lyda Krewson, Gov. Mike Parson, and others about their funding concerns and also requesting a tour of the facility.
The group wants an investigation at the state and municipal level regarding the use and possible misuse of funding at the Justice Center by Mayor Krewson’s office, Gov. Parson’s office, and State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office.
The lawmakers also want to speak with inmates and staff to ensure the city is doing what’s necessary to ensure the health, well-being, and due process of everyone in the building.
The letter says the men incarcerated in the Justice Center do not believe their constitutional rights are being protected nor their basic human needs being met. The lawmakers also are requesting the following:
- expungement of records for Justice Center inmates charged with non-violent, non-felony crimes currently serving time
- a full accounting of requests and demands, and how the Justice Center is meeting those needs
- an explanation of why the St. Louis Department of Public Safety declined an option to hold virtual video trials
The letter says, “as their representatives, we have a responsibility to safeguard the rights of all our citizens, including the incarcerated and imprisoned.”
The letter did note that a Corrections Task Force has been established to look into the conditions. However, the group wants its own fact-finding mission to determine if the lawmakers need to pursue legislative fixes in Jefferson City.
The Task Force was established following that incident. Alleged inhumane treatment is one of the many findings. Glass said yesterday there is no merit to those complaints.
“There is nothing we did to make them act this way,” said Glass during a Monday morning briefing.
Glass said the two things he is hearing from detainees is they want more recreation. He said prior to COVID the detainees were not in their cells often and now they are spending a lot of time there.
The other lawmakers named in the letter are State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, State Rep. Marlon Anderson, State Rep. Wiley Price, and State Rep. Marlene Terry.