ST. LOUIS - Unrest Sunday night brought to light again the difficulties in the Justice Center in St. Louis.

Detainees broke windows, then complained and chanted about backlog of cases and waiting for court dates. The COVID-19 Pandemic has slowed the court system.

A similar disturbance occurred in February with detainees. Law enforcement spent hours calming that outbreak.

Detainees smashed security cameras, windows and destroyed property, the St. Louis mayor’s office said in a release. The violent disturbances occurred around 8:30 p.m. Easter Sunday.

Some detainees involved in the uprising at the Justice Center Sunday night complained that they are being held in the facility too long due to a backlog of court cases, but the Presiding Judge of the courthouse says cases are still moving through the system.

Statistics show 160 incarcerated with murder charges and 100-plus with both assault and robbery charges.

St. Louis Mayor Lydia Krewson said it was a very concerning and very dangerous situation not only for the detainees, but the personnel who work here.

“We thank the personnel for their work in a very high-risk situation,” she said, along with a thanks to the local law enforcement.

Dale Glass, the St. Louis Corrections Commissioner, said the investigation into the situation continues.

“It was a pretty normal day before this unfolded,” he said. “Inmates were having recreation and people were visiting. My staff broke for lunch and stopped recreation and the action ensued. Three or four inmates cut themselves with glass and we were able to get them to medical treatment. Our staff did an excellent job getting it under control as usual with the help of the police and the sheriff’s office. We did find a way to temporarily house the detainees involved. We are still conducting an investigation, but we believe the numbers of detainees involved were relatively small.”

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