Jails Position Paper 

St. Louis has a history of ongoing scandal surrounding its city jails. In the 1980s, the Schoemehl administration had the jail overcrowding scandal to manage. Then the ACLU carried out a 15-year lawsuit that resulted in a court mandate to build the current Justice Center. 2002 saw the firing of the corrections superintendent, 2009 marked the ACLU-EM’s explosive report on drug-dealing, medical neglect and physical abuse, and 2011 witnessed the forced leave of a new superintendent and aldermanic hearings into fiscal mismanagement, understaffing, and underfunding from the Slay administration. In 2012, seven inmates filed a lawsuit alleging beatings by guards, threats and payments by guards to entice inmates to beat others, and bets placed by on gladiator-style contests. Two guards have been indicted for actions related to that case, and three were convicted of drugdealing shortly after the 2009 ACLU report. It is time for more serious indictments, both literal and figurative, for the individual and systemic failures that are causing human rights abuses in the city jails. To learn more about this pressing issue, please refer to the full position paper written by the ACLU of Missouri.