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Inmates transferred following disturbance at St. Louis downtown jail

Inmates transferred following disturbance at St. Louis downtown jail

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UPDATED at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday with additional information from city officials.

ST. LOUIS — A disturbance Tuesday at the St. Louis City Justice Center began when a group of inmates defied staff orders and refused to return to their cells, authorities said.

The incident culminated with the transfer of 56 inmates to the St. Louis Medium Security Institution, also known as the workhouse, so that they could be separated from other inmates at the justice center, officials said.

The workhouse was holding approximately 100 inmates, well below its capacity, so it had the space to house those from the justice center, said Jacob Long, spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson.

It’s unclear when the disturbance began but Long said it was sometime Tuesday morning. St. Louis police responded to the justice center and entered the building, but served in a support capacity to correctional staff and sheriff’s deputies, Long said.

“Correctional staff worked with sheriff’s deputies to de-escalate the situation over a period of time,” Long said.

The situation was resolved by 2:15 p.m., officials said.

Long said he didn’t know what prompted the inmates to disregard staff orders.

The six-story justice center, downtown on Tucker Boulevard, opened in 2002 and can hold up to 860 inmates.

City officials are moving forward with plans to close the workhouse, but Mayor Krewson said earlier this month that it will not be closed by 2021, as originally anticipated.

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