Alderwoman, activist describe conditions inside the Workhouse -

Alderwoman, activist describe conditions inside the Workhouse

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Several people, including an alderwoman, toured the Workhouse undercover on Friday.

Kennard Williams with the group Decarcerate STL along with several others and Ward 15 Alderwoman Megan Green went undercover. Green told the jail employees that they were students doing a research project.

“The public deserves to know what is happening in a public building,” said Green.

Williams' group is determined to end prisoner abuse and neglect. He said he saw unsanitary conditions.

"Saw roaches crawling around, dead bugs littered along hallways. There's mold in the showers and dorm areas," Williams said.

Conditions at the jail have prompted protests. In July, there were complaints that it was too hot inside the facility. Air conditioners were later installed, but there were then complaints that the building was too cold.

Green says the 50-year-old building is in disrepair.  With hundreds of minor offenders waiting months or even years for their day in court. Green thinks the Workhouse should be closed.

“But the question is how do we do that and we do that by decreasing the population,” Green said.

Green said diverting inmates to mental health facilities and substance abuse treatment centers would benefit the entire city.

Green plans to introduce a counter proposal to the half-cent sales tax proposed by Mayor Lyda Krewson meant to increase officer salaries.

Green is pushing for a .5 percent payroll tax increase business owners, saying it would generate at least $10 million than Krewson’s proposal. Green hopes that money will help improve the situation at the Workhouse.

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