Blake Strode Points to Our Collective Listening Problem and the St. Louis Jail Crisis

Blake Strode (’15), Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders, authored a feature for The St. Louis American, discussing the St. Louis jail crisis, his organization’s ongoing advocacy in response to a lack of transparency around pandemic dangers and worsening conditions in the jails, and our role in validating and responding to these concerns (“The St. Louis Jail Crisis is About All of Us,” Feb. 17). “We, collectively, have a listening problem. . . . The point is not that we were soothsayers or psychics; I assure you we were not. The point is that these folks, condemned to our jails in a system of brutal and inhumane pretrial incarceration, told us all that we needed to know. And the problem is that very few cared to listen to them, far less to believe what they had to say.”