Jail Rebellion Leads To Major Questions

Barb wire on a fence
William Anderson
February 13, 2021

Some are shocked when people locked in prisons and jails rise up, but it’s no surprise – prisons and jails are brutal. When people inside need to be heard, there’s little to no outlet for them to voice their concerns about their rights. A recent uprising tells us how this plays out.

People at St. Louis City Justice Center recently rebelled. Over 100 of the people imprisoned there took over two units. They broke windows, held up signs, and connected with family, friends, and supporters cheering to them from outside. They weren’t doing this for nothing.

Those who took over the units were fed up with ignored complaints about COVID-19 protocols, abuse from officers, and deplorable conditions. City officials have dismissed this, while others like Rep. Cori Bush have called for transparency. The truth of what’s been happening around the country during the pandemic is clear.

In Texas, 80% of the people who died from COVID-19 were being held in pre-trial detention! Others served 90% of their sentence before dying. Imprisonment during a pandemic is often a death sentence for many reasons.

As the pandemic spread VERY rapidly behind bars, many did little to nothing to stop it – although countless people could have easily been freed. That’s why rebellions like the one in St. Louis are important. Being locked up doesn’t mean you have no human rights!

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