Inmates scream for help inside a non-air conditioned jail

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 19, 2017

When a TV crew from St. Louis' KTVI arrived at the Medium Security Institution on Tuesday, reporters could hear inmates screaming for help inside the institution's cells as prisoners claim temperatures get as hot as 109 degrees.

According to KTVI, the 51-year-old facility that holds 1,100 inmates is not fully air conditioned. Only a few sections of the facility have air conditioning, meaning staff and prisoners alike are subject to the intolerable conditions. 

KTVI could not verify exactly how hot temperatures get inside the jaul, but it has sparked a discussion on the humane treatment of inmates. KTVI reporters were told to leave the property after discovering the screams coming from inside the facility.

Reporters and area politicians have requested to tour the facility, but their requests have been rejected. 

A spokesman for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson told KTVI that staffers provide inmates with juice and ice several times a day to keep them cool.

The jail does not house convicted criminals; only those who are awaiting trial and are unable to post bond. 

According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature in St. Louis was 98 on Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to stay near 100 all week in St. Louis. 

To read KTVI's full report, click here