The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a critical report on St. Louis’ jails, including stories of inmates beaten by guards, guards sneaking in drugs, a female inmate ordered to sleep nude for 15 days, and supervisors falsifying reports and punishing whistle-blowers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says. The volume hangs mostly on the word of six unnamed guards.
Suspicious of the timing – two weeks before a mayoral election – a top aide to Mayor Francis Slay questioned the use of six anonymous voices among 350 guards. “The whole report so lacks in credibility and is so biased and is so based in rumor or innuendo, that it just doesn’t justify a comment,” said Patricia Hageman, city counselor. Hageman said she forwarded the report to the U.S. attorney’s office and said the city welcomes a review of its jails. The report said a jail supervisor documented some of the wrongdoing. One guard said that jail overcrowding was so severe that inmates were sleeping under beds and toilets, sometimes in vomit and feces.