Close the Workhouse campaign holds rally to demand release of men trapped in workhouse

Following reports of extreme cold and continued inhumane conditions at St. Louis City’s jail, the Workhouse, advocates gather to demand the release of David Dixon and Jeffrey Rozelle, two victims of the City’s racialized apartheid and unlawful cash bail system

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Today, advocates with the Close the Workhouse campaign gathered outside of the Civil Courts building to demand the release of David Dixon and Jeffrey Rozelle, two victims of the City’s ongoing system of racialized oppression.

In this case, Mr. Dixon and Mr. Rozelle have been unjustly condemned by the criminalization of black life and cash bail. Despite their innocence, and despite money in hand to pay their bail, the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court is refusing to release them because the funds are in cashier’s checks and not cash.

We know Mr. Dixon and Mr. Rozelle are among hundreds of people who have been detained and confined in cages because of the City’s complete disregard for their rights, their freedom and their well being.

The direct issues impacting these cases include but are not limited to:

  • The City of St. Louis doesn’t accept cashier’s checks. It doesn’t take credit cards. It only takes cash.
  • People are asked to carry around large sums of actual cash to post bail for their loved ones.
  • You cannot post bail over the weekend. This is purely a matter of convenience for the clerks and the city. They don’t want to pay someone to be there and they think that’s more important than people sitting in cages over the weekend.
  • The city of St. Louis doesn’t think it’s important enough for people to be able to get free to actually staff the clerk’s office over the weekend or after hours.

The Close the Workhouse campaign is calling for an end to these practices and a change so that regular people can get their loved ones out with other forms of payment and during the weekend. Until we end pretrial detention and close the workhouse once and for all, the City should do everything in its power to make this process understandable and accessible to poor people and Black people in the region.

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