Board of Aldermen President Reed Files Legislation to Close the Workhouse

The proposal details and directs a process and plan to close MSI

June 29, 2020 | 2 min reading time

This article is 4 years old. It was published on June 29, 2020.

Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed has filed legislation to use the powers of the legislative branch to detail and direct the actions necessary for the closure of the Medium Security Institute (MSI).

“I have always been in favor of criminal justice reform. These bills will be a catalyst to a defined and organized process to effectively and safely close the workhouse while allowing for the funding of needed resources that are lacking in our community,” said Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed. 

The bills will establish a Division of Recidivism Reduction and a Neighborhood Crime Reduction Fund. The Division of Recidivism Reduction will hire additional social workers to be assigned to detainees with mental health issues and assist them and their families.

The Neighborhood Crime Reduction Fund will be established through any leftover funds related to the potential savings of the closing of MSI. The Neighborhood Crime Reduction Fund will be allocated to neighborhoods with high violent crime and will be administered by a Participatory Budgeting Process.  Meanwhile, the bills will maintain the duty and responsibility of the City to continue to house detainees as referred by the courts. 

The bill also requires the Director of Personnel to interview staff currently working at MSI to determine fitness for available vacant civil service positions in the City of St. Louis.

The board bills will be required to have a two-thirds vote of the Board of Aldermen in order to pass into law. The Commissioner of Corrections is directed, within 45 days of the effective date of this ordinance, to provide the Public Safety Committee of the Board of Aldermen and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment a detailed plan to discontinue operating MSI as a facility to house detainees with a planned closure date no later than 150 days from the effective date of the ordinance.

The bill will be first read and introduced at the Board of Aldermen this Thursday, July 2 at 10 a.m. by webinar.  

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