Closing the St. Louis City Medium Security Institution (MSI)
This Board Bill, in accordance with Article XXV Section 1 of the St. Louis City Charter, and upon being recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, amend the duties of the Division of Corrections and Department of Health & Hospitals. It would direct the Commissioner of Corrections to begin the process of closing the St. Louis City Medium Security Institution (MSI), also known as the Workhouse, as a detainee center. This Board Bill would direct the Board of Public Service and the Commissioner of Corrections to evaluate the City Justice Center to determine if more detainees could safely be held there and to perform a study of the Medium Security Institution to determine the feasibility of repurposing and to evaluate the ongoing costs of any plan to permanently close the facility. It would direct the Commissioner of Corrections to contact surrounding facilities to determine the per day cost of outsourcing the housing detainees in St. Louis City custody; a requirement for the Department of Personnel to interview corrections officers of the workhouse for open positions in city government. It requires the Department of Health to develop criteria for the hiring of social workers to be assigned to detainees with mental health issues and their families, and to be employees of a newly formed Division of Recidivism Reduction. This board Bill would create a fund to be allocated to neighborhoods with high violent crime rates to be appropriated annually through neighborhood participatory budgeting process; upholding the City’s statutory requirement to detain individuals remanded to the City of St. Louis through the court system. It would direct the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to provide data as requested by the Board of Aldermen or any department or division of City Government facilitating the closure of the Medium Security Institution facility. It would also direct the Budget Director to analyze the net cost savings to the general fund if MSI is no longer operated as a detainee facility; and it contains an emergency clause.