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Group of St. Louis County Jail inmates refuse to return to cells over coronavirus isolations

Group of St. Louis County Jail inmates refuse to return to cells over coronavirus isolations

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CLAYTON — A group of inmates at St. Louis County Jail refused to return to their cells for hours Thursday before jail managers eventually convinced them to comply, according to a memo from the jail director.

The inmates were upset because they have been confined for longer periods under the jail’s efforts to control spread of the coronavirus, Director Doug Burris told members of the Justice Services Advisory Board in an email Friday.

A combined 110 residents and employees have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks. As a result, jail staff has been releasing fewer inmates at a time in common areas, resulting in just three to four hours to move around.

Another group of inmates on another floor also acted out but eventually calmed down, Burris said. He commended the jail staff for defusing the situation and said the jail was finding a way for inmates to have more time out while remaining socially distant.

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