ACD media

#STLJailsCrisis: Stories from the Front Lines

February 12, 2021

Since March 2020, ArchCity Defenders has filed litigation, represented and provided assistance and supplies to hundreds of clients, exposed injustices through media, and collaborated with numerous organizations in the region on policy and campaign efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. In March 2020, we also started a “jail hotline” due to concerns of unsafe conditions in STL jails, especially regarding COVID safe procedures. We first published a playlist of those first-hand testimonials in April 2020, framing it with the hashtags #DecarcerateSTL and #CagedDuringCovid due to the life-threatening realities faced by people detained and incarcerated during a pandemic. Those stories can be found by clicking the link below:

ACD’s jail hotline has remained open, and from December 31, 2020 to the February 12, 2021 we have received over 120 calls from people detained in STL jails (mainly City Justice Center and the Workhouse). We’ve also heard from their family members and employees who have worked at the jails.

The jail hotline is a toll-free number: (314) 643-8773
If someone you know is detained in a STL jail please share the number and call us.

With individuals’ permission, we’re continuing to publish first-hand accounts of jail conditions on our SoundCloud channel, and in part due to the recent jail uprisings, are framing these testimonials with the hashtag #STLJailsCrisis.

Yesterday, we spoke with a man who has been detained in STL jails for 20 months. He’s a loving father who is trying to survive frigid temperatures and black mold in the Workhouse and be reunited with his family.

With his permission, we’ve posted three short audio tracks on our SoundCloud channel, and this is the first one.

What’s happening to people detained in STL Jails is unconscionable, and despite that, the City continues to not only refute and deny it, they’re blaming (and retaliating) against the very people they have failed. Please listen and share. Our struggle for justice and accountability continues.

To follow this conversation, use: #STLJailsCrisis #CagedDuringCovid and #DecarcerateSTL