Close the Workhouse campaign to host meeting with circuit attorney, public defender

ST. LOUIS – The campaign to Close the Workhouse, which is demanding that St. Louis City leaders shut down the medium security jail that is reportedly keeping hundreds of people caged in “brutal conditions,” will host a public meeting on Thursday.

“For decades, people in the City of St. Louis have decried the conditions in the Workhouse and the illegal cash bail scheme that led to them spending months inside,” the campaign stated. “People on the inside and the outside have called for it to be closed.”

Due to the campaign’s efforts to the Close the Workhouse, the jail population has now become low enough that the city can begin to take “concrete steps” in planning the permanent closure of the Workhouse. The campaign also shared that the money from the workhouse can then be used as an investment for communities in need.

Thursday night’s public meeting will be held on Thursday, March 7th at the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being (1000 N. Vandeventer Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63113) beginning at 6:00 pm.

A panel will be held to discuss the “massive decrease” in the city’s jail population due to the campaign’s efforts. Circuit Attorney and Public Defender will also publicly announce their support of the recent litigation aimed at the unconstitutional use of cash bail in the city as well as the efforts in ending wealth-based pretrial detention as part of closing the workhouse.

Panelists include Blake Strode, executive director for ArchCity Defenders; Mike Milton, site manager for Bail Project St. Louis; Mary Fox, district defender for the City of St. Louis and Kim Gardner, circuit attorney for the City of St. Louis.

“As of today, the combined jail population in the City of St. Louis is nearly low enough for all people to be detained in the City Justice Center. After decades of lawsuits and activism decrying the dehumanizing and vile conditions in the workhouse, we are at a tipping point,” the campaign stated. “We can close the workhouse permanently and start investing in the wards where the workhouse has caused intergenerational harms and destroyed communities.”