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COVID-19 Resources & Responses

Our prisoner and detained migrant population is being forced to engage in highly risky behaviors: living in crowded conditions with no access to cleaning supplies, no decent medical care, no support from loved ones, and not even basic information about what is happening. The people in our prisons are part of this country. They are our grandparents, parents, children, siblings, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Half of the people in the United States know someone who is, or has been, incarcerated.

 

The prison population is aging, immune-comprised, and chronically ill. Many of those detained in immigration detention centers are family units that include children and elderly folks. Congress cannot forget them. But most importantly, the coronavirus does not respect prison walls. Stopping all visitation, ordering lockdowns, and other measures that will make incarceration harder to endure for those on the inside, will not stop these facilities from becoming breeding grounds for illness.

 

Prison staff, vendors, ambulance drivers, and, yes, coroners will carry the virus back to their homes and communities. Ignoring the impact of the coronavirus on prisons threatens us all.

Our organizing includes the voices of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated People regarding the urgent funding needed for survival. Organizations and activist throughout the country are collectively asking that support be provided to community-led organizations working to assist incarcerated people and family members of the
incarcerated.

Families First Coronavirus response Act, H.R. 6201. The legislation provides paid leave, establishes free testing, protects public health workers, and provides important benefits to children and families.

ClemencyWorks, call out to Govenors

We urge you to use your clemency power and release our incarcerated community
members who are elderly, pregnant and who have compromised immune systems. In

Take Action Responses

New polling conducted by Data for Progress released by The Justice Collaborative, FWD.us, and R Street Institute demonstrating broad support among "very conservative" voters for bold action to reduce jail and prison populations to slow the virus. See memo here

call in tool FWD.us to contact Congress and demand bold action to fight Coronavirus, including actions that protect incarcerated and criminal justice system impacted people who are especially vulnerable. 

JOINT STATEMENT  from elected prosecutors. Elected prosecutors, have an obligation to protect the safety and well being of everyone in our community, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or country of origin. Those obligations extend behind prison walls.

Sign On Petitions

Sign on letters to the National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Sheriff’s Association urging them to use their authority to decarcerate prisons and jails.

If you would like to add your organization to the list of signers, please do so by completing the google form here.

Sign-On Letter for Statement of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated People Regarding the Urgent Funding Needed for Survival

RAPP, is calling on "Governor Cuomo: Release Elders & Other Incarcerated New Yorkers Vulnerable to COVID-19.  They have two asks:

1) Call Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390​ 
2) Sign and share this Petition.

Sign-On Petition for Community Defense of East Tennessee call for the release of Pre-trial detainees, Juvinile, Ice Holds and incarcerated individuals requiring medical attention. 

 

We are a widely diverse group of people who share an intimate relationship with incarceration. We know how confinement magnifies threats to human health and safety. We have been incarcerated. We are incarcerated. Unless we take immediate measures, the rapid spread of any infectious disease under these conditions will be unstoppable. Inhumane solitary confinement is not to be confused with medical isolation or quarantine. Sign-On to Public Statement on Coronavirus and Mass Incarceration.

Medical Profession sign on. As experts in medicine and public health, we recommend that the Commonwealth take common sense steps to release people from jails and prisons in order to prevent the spread of infection.

Sign-On Letter for Tennessee Supreme Court Emergency Petition to Supplement Court's Order Suspending In-Person Court Proceedings with Directives Necessary to Reduce Public Health Risks Associated with Covid-19 Outbreaks in Tennessee Jails, Juvenile Detention Centers, and Prison

Demands from Accross the Country

You can send letters to your local officials, District Attorney's and Governors. Demand they issue decarceral guidelines right now to prevent social spreading, jail “churn,” and the deaths of vulnerable people.

  • Connecticut organizers demand call on Governor Lamont to act immediately to protect the lives of the incarcerated people in our state.​

  • Massachusetts Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition calls on Governor Baker to grant clemency. They also call on Sheriffs, Judges, District Attorneys, Probation and Parole to prevent the spread and release people from incarceration as soon as possible is critical to stopping the spread of covid-19 in prisons across the state.  You can also sign on to their PETITION here.

  • Organizers in Los Angeles, CA call on Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore, and Los Angeles Police Commissioners to take action. "We cannot wait for confirmation that COVID-19 has entered our jails before making the decision to act." In L.A. County, we have an aging jail population that the Sheriff’s Department has described as “ unwell .”

  • DE-BUG, call on county administrators, Santa Clara County Sheriff and Board of Supervisors to
    release people being detained in our jails and juvenile hall. Santa Clara County in particular has one of the highest contamination rates in the nation.

 

  • Residents of Nashville, grow increasingly concerned about the health of our friends and loved ones who are currently incarcerated at the Davidson County Jail. Community Groups demand action to prevent COVID-19 outbreak in the Davidson County Jail​​

Sample Bail Motion response due to COVID-19

Sample Bail Motion for Formal Bail Hearing and Order Re-leasing Defendant on Own Recognizance for State and County detainees.

Amicus Letter

Community Organizers Amicus Letter. 

"We know from our incarcerated loved ones that they do not feel safe where they are as
this pandemic unfolds." 

 

"We know that people in prisons and jails are safer at  home in our communities and will be embraced by their families and loved ones if released."