Just to keep the math easy, lets say St. Louis actually takes down 10 criminals a day. 5 of which are released for various reasons and 2 went down in a blaze of gun fire leaving just 3 criminals we need to put in jail. Of those 3, it seems like at least 1 will just walk out in to the street. “Hey you guys coming?!”, he’ll yell at the remaining 2. “Nah. It’s sloppy joe night. We’ll just escape next week. Salisbury steak sucks anyway.”
Ok, so maybe our numbers aren’t exactly scientific, but we bet they’re closer than we’d all like to think. It’s freaking incredible, but not only can St. Louis not contain the constant crime wave in it’s boundaries, but even the few it does manage to catch can easily leak back out in to the population with little more than a few bed sheets and a passing knowledge of any Hollywood prison escape plot.
We bring this up only because…
Police are looking for a 31-year-old man who they say escaped from the medium security prison on Hall Street in north St. Louis on Friday night.
The City’s Corrections Commissioner was placed on leave yesterday.
The prisoner has since been caught and the Mayor has publicly stated that he Commissioner was placed on leave before the most recent escape, but you gotta think that helped the Mayor’s case. Pretty tough to argue that everything’s fine, baring a few exceptions earlier this summer, when right in the middle of your plea another guy escapes. It’s like trying to tell your wife you have no idea who Cinnamon is, or why she’d leave a message on your voice mail about picking up her nipple ring and body glitter tube she left in your car…all while you’re actively rattling the little general around the chunnel of someone named Kandy.
The Mayor went on to say…
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.
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.
Wow, you think? Locking the damn door seems like the first step…maybe a moat…or perhaps it’s finally time to drop that “honor system” agreement between 7pm and 5am? Ok, it’s probably not that simple, but it can’t be far off. When news breaks of yet another escape, we generally aren’t talking about Andy Dufresne breaking out of Shawshank here, we’re talking about gang-bangers that just crawled out a freaking window. This can’t be that difficult of a problem. Lots of other prison systems don’t have 5 escapes a year, but yet, once again, St. Louis manages to find a way to suck at a high-level when it comes to basic city government functions. Bravo.
On the plus side, St. Louis’ criminal tourism program has never produced better results: “Need a vacation from Detroit? Rob people and spend your money in lovely St. Louis! Lots of available cars and money in the southern area, with plenty of gun violence in the north and eastern areas to keep yourself sharp. Don’t forget, early incarceration checkouts are available! Just dial 0-0-0 to call the front desk (that’s also the combination to the front door and all cells).”