Close the Workhouse campaign gains momentum

Clarissa Rile Hayward, professor of political science in Arts & Sciences


When the St. Louis police arrested David Dixon in January, the judge set his bail at $30,000. Unable to pay, he was first held for six days at the city’s Justice Center and then moved to the Medium Security Institution, more commonly known as the Workhouse.

Dixon has high blood pressure, and he suffers from seizures. Not provided with the medication and other care he needs, he was terrified that he would not make it out of jail alive.

On March 7, a standing-room-only crowd gathered at the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being for a public meeting hosted by Close the Workhouse, a campaign to shut down St. Louis’ Medium Security Institution, end cash bail in the city, and channel the $16 million St. Louis spends annually to operate the Workhouse to community programs that address the root causes of crime.

As scholars who study the activism that’s grown out of the 2014 Ferguson Movement, we believe this campaign is among the most important of the recent efforts to promote public safety and racial equity in St. Louis.

Read the full piece in the St. Louis American.


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