ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The Board of Aldermen unanimously passed the bill that will close the Medium Security Institute, also known as the Workhouse. The bill now heads to Mayor Lyda Krewson's desk.
Board Bill 92 will close the Workhouse and redirect the money budgeted to it to establish a Division of Supportive Re-entry and a Re-envisioning Public Safety Fund. The Division of Supportive Re-entry will hire additional social workers to be assigned to detainees and assist them and their families.
These programs will be funded from the money saved by closing the Workhouse. For the upcoming fiscal year, MSI has been allocated $8 million.
“I am so proud and thankful to all of the members of the Board of Aldermen for coming together to get this done. Without their work and the work of many in the community for several years, we wouldn’t be able to move this forward,” said Board President Lewis Reed. “This bill will be a catalyst to a defined and organized process to effectively and safely close the workhouse while allowing for the funding of needed resources that are lacking in our community.”
Activists have been calling for the closure of the prison saying it has harsh conditions and some of the people being detained there have not been convicted, but instead simply can't afford their bail.