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St. Louis County jail could take on some city detainees

With new St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones moving to close one of the city’s two jails, officials said Thursday that some inmates could be moved to the St. Louis County Jail.

Spokesmen for Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Jones discussed the idea when the two leaders met on April 14, eight days after Jones was elected mayor and six days before her inauguration.

Page’s spokesman said Page is open to the idea if the county jail has the space and staff to take on the extra detainees.

Jones has pledged to close the medium security jail known as the workhouse, which has often been criticized for unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Her budget proposal presented Wednesday calls for closing it by July 1.

The county jail is housing 1,006 inmates out of a capacity of about 1,283. The workhouse currently houses 331 inmates.

A spokesman for Jones, Nick Dunne, said housing some inmates in the county jail was one option among several, including renting detention space in other jurisdictions and placing some inmates in mental health facilities or drug treatment centers.

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