I imagine St. Louis with no jails. For St. Louis I imagine parents at home with their children. And I imagine a St. Louis where our budget is a reflection of the
value that the city has for its people.
The Workhouse also known as the Medium Security Institution is a jail in St. Louis City that was formerly used for people to work off a debt. And that’s why it is called the Workhouse. It is currently used for people who have low-level crimes. So they are sitting in jail usually for bonds of a few hundred dollars or less because they’re not able to pay that.
I imagine the Black and Brown people of this city thriving and prospering. That means a decarcerated city, more investment into mental health and educational opportunities, and public spaces where kids can play.
I imagine peace. Peace and prosperity in my city. That’s what I imagine for St. Louis.
The majority of the people in the Workhouse have not been convicted of a crime,
therefore they should not be housed here. They should not be staying here.
The Bail Project’s St. Louis team shares their vision and hopes for their city. One of our team’s primary goals had been closing the “Workhouse,” a jail used to hold people on pretrial for low-level offenses. The Workhouse began operating in 1996. It received its name due to its inhumane conditions, such as inadequate food, forced labor, and debt bondage.
Update: When we created this film, the Workhouse was still fully functioning. In 2021, after organizing efforts from the local community in coalition with The Bail Project, the Workhouse was finally closed!
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