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Board of Estimate and Apportionment approves $1.5M in funding to fix Justice Center locks

More than 100 inmates were able to jimmy the locks and breach their cells back on Feb. 6

ST. LOUIS — Action is being taken to fix a security breach that allowed an inmate revolt at the city justice center earlier this month.

The city will spend $1.5 million to fix the jail's locking system.

The Board of Estimate and Apportionment approved the funding today.

More than 100 inmates were able to jimmy the locks and breach their cells back on Feb. 6. They broke several windows, set items on fire and threw things four stories below.

Public Safety Director Judge Jimmie Edwards told reporters detainees were able to open the locks during a press conference following the riot.

"When the building was built, it was built with these types of medium security locks that have the ability to be manipulated and compromised,” Edwards said.

The building is about 20 years old.

The fix is expected to take 10 to 12 weeks.

Mayor Lyda Krewson formed the Jail Task Force to identify issues at the facility following the riot at the jail.

Chairman Rev. Darryl Gray laid out three areas Krewson said she would like the task force to address.

They include:

  • Investigating complaints about conditions inside the jail
  • The backlog of cases in the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court
  • Any repairs the building may need

RELATED: St. Louis jail tensions 'boiled over' amid COVID-19 worries

RELATED: 'It has us on pins and needles' | St. Louis jail commissioner says locks still not working

RELATED: 'Intended to spread a false narrative' | St. Louis city attorney says inhumane conditions didn't lead to jail riot

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