What We Don't Know: An Investigative Report On Deaths In Custody
In the Winter of 2019, the ACLU of Missouri began a research project focused on the issue of deaths in custody in Missouri prisons and jails. Through our complaint system, we field the civil rights complaints of Missourians. Our staff estimates that out of the 2,500 complaints we get annually, a majority stem from issues within prison or jail. Missouri ranks highly for incarceration rates and death in custody when compared to other states—placing eighth in the country. One of Missouri’s major cities, St. Louis, has a reputation of its own with regard to carceral injustice. Two of St. Louis’ jails have gained national attention for their poor conditions, with one of its jails, the St. Louis County Justice Center, ranking in the top ten jails nationwide with death rates that more than doubled the national average in 2015.