March 13, 2020
By Doyle Murphy
…Suspending all but the most urgent matters among the circuit, associate circuit and municipal courts was one of the requests included in a letter to state and local government officials that was signed by sixteen organizations, including the ACLU, Arch City Defenders and Missouri Public Defender System.
The letter maps out a variety of suggestions to fight the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable populations, including people who are incarcerated, low-paid workers and people with disabilities.
The recommendations include providing places for people who are homeless to self-quarantine if necessary, releasing people who aren’t considered a danger but wait in jail because they can’t pay bail and holding off on arrests for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.