In August of 2012 a string of human rights abuses occurring in St. Louis area jails made headlines. In some cases guards were beating inmates and forcing them to fight each other while betting on the outcome. On the heels of these shocking revelations, the ACLU of Eastern Missouri released a position paper calling for that city to take an innovative approach to dealing with these conditions that can stand as a model for other local and state institutions. This position paper is based in part on recommendations made in an ACLU report submitted to the county in 2009 and if adopted could be a model for the rest of MO jails.
The Human Rights Report and position paper addresses complaints made by guards and inmates about inadequacy and neglect in the prison health care system and physical abuse. Recommendations in the report include an independant corrections review committee that would have oversight of programs and operations at the jails.
To talk about these problems and the proposed solution, Peter Hoffman of the National Lawyers Guild of Kansas City interviews John Chasnoff, Program Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.