The City's Corrections Commissioner was placed on leave yesterday. An inmate escaped yesterday from the City's medium security jail on the north Riverfront.
The two events happened in that order and were not directly related.
The City of St. Louis operates two jails, the medium security institution, and a high security facility near the courthouses downtown. Both are expensive to administer and staff; both have had highly publicized problems in recent months.
After a review of the facilities by Operations Director (and police captain) Sam Dotson, the Public Safety Department notified the Corrections Commissioner on Friday that he had been placed on forced leave, an employment status that is exactly what it sounds like. The details are a personnel matter. The commissioner is a civil service employee and he has range of reviews and hearings available to him.
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Safety and other senior managers will direct the corrections division. The first and second orders of business, in equal order, will be to capture the escaped prisoner and prevent further escapes.
The current system at the jails in unacceptable. Keeping the prisoners inside the jails is the barest minimum requirement, and it has not been met. Looking forward, changes are needed. Captain Dotson will make them.
I will keep you posted.