Columnist Tony Messenger talks criminal justice

Join us at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9 online as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Messenger discusses his new book, Profit and Punishment: How America Criminalizes the Poor in the Name of Justice.

As a metro columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mr. Messenger has spent years in county and municipal courthouses documenting how poor Americans are convicted of minor crimes and then saddled with exorbitant fines and fees. If they are unable to pay, they are often sent to prison, where they are then charged a pay-to-stay bill, in a cycle that soon creates a mountain of debt that can take years to pay off. These insidious penalties are used to raise money for broken local and state budgets, often overseen by for-profit companies, and it is one of the central issues of the criminal justice reform movement. Mr. Messenger won a Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for his series of columns on this topic.

The program is free and open to all, and will be held virtually via Zoom. To participate, please email to register for the Zoom link. The Library will also broadcast the program on the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Signed copies of Profit and Punishment will be available for purchase at Subterranean Books after the event.

Return Your Items at Either Building

The parking lot book drop at our permanent location, 6701 Delmar Blvd., is still being checked by UCPL staff members on a daily basis. So you can continue to return your items there, or at the temporary location, 6900 Delmar Blvd., in our inside book drop. We will be installing an exterior book drop at 6900 Delmar within the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more info!

Questions? Give us a call at 314-727-3150.

Check out our new app!

New app
Check out our new app

Created in conjunction with the other libraries of the Municipal Library Consortium, the MLC Libraries of St. Louis app allows you to manage your account, place holds, and search the Library catalog. You can have multiple cards stored and accessible at the same time (perfect for families!), and the app will even store your barcode, which you can use to check out items at UCPL. The app is available in the Apple and Google Play app stores. If you need assistance, call the Library at 314-727-3150 and we’ll happily help you out!