ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Activists have a new push to close a St. Louis jail they call “hellish.”

St. Louis’ Medium Security Institution, also known as The Workhouse, is near the riverfront just north of downtown.

Demonstrators announced the newly formed Close the Workhouse campaign Tuesday.

They want to shutter the jail and move inmates to the city’s Justice Center. Currently, MSI has 239 inmates. The City Justice Center has 660.

The Close the Workhouse campaign calls for using the $16 million that would be freed up by the closing to fund programs to support mental health and victims services.

Mayor Lyda Krewson’s office released the following statement:

“Over the last three years, this Administration has invested more than $5.5 million in MSI to vastly improve the facility, which was recently toured by a state grand jury who called MSI ‘professionally run, clean and transformed.’ The City does not currently have the capacity to close it based on our current detainee population, which includes almost exclusively individuals on serious felony charges that the state has deemed necessary to be held.”

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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