Glass’ resignation follows Mayor Tishaura O. Jones’ visit to the City’s two jail facilities in her first week of office, alongside Congresswoman Cori Bush, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, Action St. Louis Executive Director Kayla Reed, among others. Inside, they heard first hand accounts from detainees within both facilities describing lackluster COVID protocols, inedible food, lack of running water, rodents and cockroaches, as well as a fear of violent retaliation from Corrections staff.
“Failed leadership overseeing the City’s Corrections division has left the City with a huge mess to clean up. Between failing locks, lackluster maintenance, and subhuman conditions for the detainees under our care, it only further justifies my promise to shut down the Workhouse within my first 100 days. We look forward to bringing effective leadership into the Corrections division that can account for these issues and raise the bar on effective management and oversight of the City Justice Center.”
~Mayor Tishaura O. Jones
“The deplorable conditions we witnessed inside the City Justice Center and the Workhouse made clear that the City of St. Louis is in desperate need of new leadership in its corrections department. No human being should be forced to live in a place littered with trash and feces or eat food that is an unidentifiable mush. No human being should be forced to shower with moldy water or have their health put at risk by an uncontrolled infectious disease outbreak. No human being should be caged for weeks and months on end with little certainty of when and if they’ll ever see their family again. What we witnessed in those jails was unsafe, inhumane, and tragic. Transforming our approach to public safety in St. Louis has been long overdue, and the Mayor’s bold and early leadership on this issue has been exemplary. We share a commitment to reducing harm in our communities and ending the cycles of trauma that have caused far too many of our neighbors to be locked up in our city’s jails. That process starts with treating every single person with basic human decency. Together, we are working to build a St. Louis that prioritizes the needs of everyone in our communities, and that includes our constituents behind the wall.”
~Congresswoman Cori Bush
Since the visit to the jails, the following changes have occurred within the Department of Corrections:
- The total population between the two jails has been reduced to 660.
- Under the direction of Executive Order #1, the Civilian Oversight Board is now collecting filed complaints within the Corrections Department dating back to 2017.
- Daily reports are now required regarding the delivery of meals to detainees, as well as the status of units and cells whose locks are still pending repair.
- The Mayor and her staff are scheduling listening sessions with Corrections department employees who have shared their concerns about the management of the two facilities. She and her staff will be meeting with those employees to listen to their feedback and create action steps to resolve their issues.
Glass’ employment as Corrections Commissioner ends effectively on June 1. He was not asked to resign.