Second night of protests after 16 Workhouse inmates make bail fr - KMOV.com

Second night of protests after 16 Workhouse inmates make bail from donations

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Saturday was the second night of intense protests outside the Medium Security Institution, better known as The Workhouse. (Credit: KMOV) Saturday was the second night of intense protests outside the Medium Security Institution, better known as The Workhouse. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Saturday was the second night of intense protests outside the Medium Security Institution, better known as The Workhouse. 

One person was arrested in the crowd of over 100 protesters, and riot police shut down Hall St. temporarily to make sure the protest stayed peaceful. 

However, it was the first night of protests on Friday that saw the big results. It captured so much attention, that two advocacy groups were able to collect $10,000 in donations to bail 16 inmates out of The Workhouse.    

"Between small gifts to large gifts, we were able to raise $10,000 in two days," said Michelle Higgins, with the St. Louis Action Council.

Her advocacy group and the Arch City Defenders are the two who came together to collect donations for bail outs. 

"No matter how much or how little money they have, we cannot be crossed, can't be defeated, and we can't be challenged," said Higgins. 

98% of the inmates at the Workhouse are waiting on a court date and have not been convicted. "Many of them have committed something low-level, non-violent, even to a simple a warrant for fines and fees," said Higgins.

Not all of the inmates who made bond are going home immediately because of warrants in other cities. However, they are being transferred to other facilities with air conditioning. 

"We can at least get them out of the sweltering heat," said Higgins. 

The long term goal for these advocacy groups and protesters is to shut down the Workhouse completely.

"I have to wonder...why did change come only after a public outcry? Why wasn't there a plan in place to care for the most marginalized people?" said Higgins.

Mayor Lyda Krewson's office says the city is spending $40,000 to install 5 air conditioning units as early as Monday. However, the relief is only temporary because the city's contract with the company, Temp-Air, is only 1-month. City Officials are looking for other permanent solutions. 

St. Louis police say a total of four people were arrested over the weekend during the protests. One person was arrested on Friday night for trespassing on private property, and three arrests were made on Saturday night for impeding the flow of traffic and failing to obey police orders. 

Police also say that two officers were injured after being hit by debris thrown by protesters. One officer was treated at a local hospital for an arm injury, and another refused medical attention after sustaining a head injury. 

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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