ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - For the first time in months, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones spoke out about repeated riots inside the city's maximum security jail or the City Justice Center.
There have been six disturbances in the last nine months, three of them in just recent weeks. News 4 has been hearing from corrections officers, from family members with loved ones in the jail and from other city leaders. But Monday was the first time we heard from the city's mayor about the riots, since her controversial decision to shut down one of the city's two jails, the Workhouse, two months ago.
St. Louis City officials are on the defense Sunday, for at least the sixth time in less than a year. This comes after another disturbance erupted Saturday morning inside the City Justice Center, leaving four inmates injured.
One detainee was badly beaten and actually stabbed early Saturday morning. His family telling News 4 they can't believe that disturbances continue happening.
News 4 has obtained surveillance from past riots, detainees destroying property, and corrections officers abandoning their posts. City leaders have repeatedly blamed faulty locks, saying they can be compromised with toilet paper and toothpaste. And while leaders have vowed to get those locks fixed over the next several months, Monday, Jones said it's about more than that.
“It’s not just about the locks, I want to make that clear. It’s about the culture of the organization, the people in the organization, we want to make sure we are changing that culture so that detainees are treated with dignity and respect,” Jones said.
News 4 asked a spokesperson to clarify what she meant by that. He said they have heard from corrections officers with a concern about general workforce culture. Corrections officers, though, have been crying foul, telling News 4 that the city is one dropping the ball.