• DECARCERATE ARIZONA: CRIMINALIZATION AND INCARCERATION ARE NOT PUBLIC HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS!
    Thousands of incarcerated people being caged together in small spaces with no real options for quarantine are far more susceptible to the COVID-19 pandemic than most other populations. Due to substandard medical care, incarcerated people suffer disproportionately from chronic health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus which will have disastrous effects. COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons and jails are a risk to the entire community. To slow the cycle of people in and out of jail, we must drastically reduce jail and detention center admissions. Less people in jails and detention centers is a definite way to prevent the spread of disease. Public officials must reduce the prison, jail, and detention center's population size to ensure cells are not shared, there are sufficient medical beds for anyone who may need one, and adequate numbers of prison staff to ensure safety for staff, those incarcerated, and visitors. And for those currently in prison, the only public health solution is RELEASE! Arizona cannot afford a failed response to COVID-19!
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    Created by Mass Liberation Arizona Picture
  • Urge Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to freeze rent, mortgage, and bill payments during COVID-19 Crisis
    Petitioning has the potential to enact real change, but it’s also your fundamental right as an American citizen, and an opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded people who are invested in making a change. Ideally, running a petition is just the start of something bigger — a long-term, robust form of civic engagement. “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
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    Created by Maxi Mertens Picture
  • Kym Worthy-COVID-19 Demands
    The decarceral guidelines below are designed to prevent three things: social spreading, jail “churn,” and the deaths of vulnerable people. Social Spreading In order to prevent the rapid growth of COVID-19 from overburdening our health-care system and claiming lives, both those in secure facilities and the people who work in them, it is the responsibility of decision-makers at every level to prevent and contain the spread of the virus by taking action to promote the most effective strategy in abating the pandemic: social distancing in order to slow “community spread.” The Particular Issue of Jail and Prison “Churn” Jails and Prisons combine the worst aspects of a cruise ship and a large public gathering and, thus, can be the perfect breeding ground for the spread of COVID-19. People are constantly booked into and out of jail and prison facilities and each night guards, vendors, and other jail staff are going home while others are coming in- which results in a massive turnover. For example, more than half of the people in jail are only in there for two to three days. Further, enclosed structures like jails can cause COVID-19 to spread like wildfire and introducing just one person with it can lead to it impacting not just everyone inside the jail or prison but anyone leaving the facility—whether a person who is released or staff returning back to their homes— who then interact with their communities. Preventive Measures Cannot Be Taken in Jails and Prisons. Experts recommend that to protect the people most vulnerable from death or serious illness from COVID-19 that they are appropriately separated through social distancing. Yet separating sick people from well people to prevent the disease from spreading can be nearly impossible in prison due to logistical considerations.
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    Created by Nicholas Buckingham
  • Humanity Not Cages: Demand a Just and Humane Response to COVID-19
    It is not a matter of if but when the coronavirus will enter prisons and jails, according to health experts. The consequences of that eventuality will be devastating. COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons and jails will spread “like wildfire” due to close quarters, unsanitary conditions, a population that is more vulnerable to COVID-19, and the large number of people that cycle through the criminal justice system. The risk extends far beyond those who are incarcerated. COVID-19 outbreaks in jails and prisons threaten the larger public, as hundreds of thousands of individuals churn through jails on a daily basis and correctional, medical and other staff interact with the incarcerated population and circulate back into communities. With 2.3 million people in the United States in prison or jail on any given day, an outbreak in these facilities poses a threat to the entire country. If federal, state, and local officials take swift action, they can not only prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside prisons, jails, and detention centers and ensure the safety and wellness of our loved ones behind cages, but they can also have an enormous impact on the wellness of the rest of the country.
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    Created by Dalila Reynoso Picture
  • Release people incarcerated pre-trial in Forsyth County
    Even though public visitation has been suspended at the LEDC, all people incarcerated are still at high risk for infection due to their close-quarters living situation. Any guard, other staff, or newly processed detainee could potentially introduce the virus into the population, where it would rapidly spread. Staff members and at least one person incarcerated at multiple prisons in other states already tested positive for COVID-19. It is only a matter of time before it reaches the LEDC as well. Drastically reducing the jail population will limit the harm COVID-19 is able to cause. This is especially true when it comes to those already vulnerable—the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. The longer the jail continues to house people, the greater the risk grows to those individuals, their attorneys, their families, LEDC staff, and the community at large. Measures such as visitation lockdowns and segregation are not likely to be effective. The daily churn of potentially asymptomatic people—both incarcerated and employed—in and out of the jail will facilitate the spread of COVID-19 within the jail and the community at large. The fewer people present in the LEDC, the lesser the risk. Mecklenburg and Buncombe counties—in addition to out-of-state jails in and around LosAngeles, Cleveland, and New York City—have already begun releasing incarcerated people in the interest of public health. The Forsyth County Community Bail Fund urges Winston-Salem mayor Allen Joines, Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough, District Attorney Jim O’Neill, Chief Magistrate Denise Hines, Clerk of Superior Court Renita Thompkins Linville, Chief Probation/Parole Officer Sherri Cook, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Hon. Todd Burke, and Chief District Judge Hon. Lisa Menefee to take necessary and immediate action to save lives. Signed, Forsyth County Community Bail Fund ACLU of North Carolina The Bail Project Community Justice Center Hate Out of Winston Prisoner Outreach Initiative Triad NC Socialist Rifle Association Wake Forest Baptist Church Winston-Salem Democratic Socialists of America Aramie Bloom Julie Brady Jen Oleniczak Brown - Fearless Winston-Salem Richardo Brown Jocelyn Bryant - Triad Central Labor Council President Chris Cecile - Triad Central Labor Council Vice President Nathan Davis Sara González Ricky Johnson Jr. Chris Lutz Pastor Lia Scholl Molly Morgan Lillian Podlog Cody Remillard Emily Thompson Brittany Ward
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    Created by Julie Brady
  • Humanity Not Cages: Demand a Just and Humane Response to COVID-19
    The conditions inside L.A. County jails and juvenile halls are inhumane, period. In Men’s Central Jail, multiple people share a cell about 6 feet by 6 feet, and generally only leave the cell for one hour a day. They lack necessary hygiene products and adequate medical treatment. Under ordinary circumstances, the jail is unsafe; during this pandemic, it is a potential death trap. This week, Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile of the Los Angeles Superior Court condemned more people into this death trap by issuing an order detailing the Los Angeles Superior Court’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order appropriately reduces the number and types of court proceedings until at least April 16, 2020. While the order protects judges and court staff from the virus, it may make the situation more dangerous for the people held in jails and juvenile halls. In Los Angeles County Black community members are booked at staggeringly disproportionate rates. While only 9 percent of LA County residents are Black, Black people make up 29 percent of the jail population. The majority of people in the LA County jails are Black and Brown, and their lives are at risk. The judges have all the power to give them their freedom. Judges have immense discretion to release people pretrial. California law allows for adults charged with misdemeanors and all non-capital felony offenses to be released on their own recognizance. Instead of releasing people, Judge Brazile’s order extends the amount of time that people could remain locked up in these dangerous conditions. Pursuant to the order, those booked into custody for felonies may now have to wait 7 days before seeing the judge, instead of the usual 48 hours. The consequences of pretrial detention are harmful under any circumstances. Suicides in jail are most likely to occur in the first week of incarceration. People incarcerated pretrial risk losing their housing, employment, and public benefits. These are long-term consequences for people who are presumed innocent by law, and who likely remain in jail because they cannot pay for their freedom. The consequences of pretrial incarceration are even more severe in the context of a pandemic. When COVID-19 emerges in our jails and juvenile halls, it will spread quickly given how many people are crammed into cells in poor sanitary conditions. Incarcerating youth and adults pretrial for longer periods of time is completely contrary to public health recommendations. When courts restrict someone’s liberty by incarcerating them, they then bear the burden of caretaking. Judge Brazile’s order also extends the time limits for preliminary hearings and trials, presumably to reduce the burden on the court. However, people incarcerated pretrial, faced with the possibility of awaiting trial in jail, often plead guilty regardless of their actual guilt. Faced with an additional 30 days in jail awaiting trial, and at extreme risk of contracting a deadly disease, most people will give up their trial right if it means getting out sooner. This coercive process is unfair, undermines the integrity of our courts and saddles people with wrongful convictions that can have lifelong consequences. This is not the fair process that our constitution envisions. Even in times of crisis when understandably things must change and adapt, we must uphold the rights of people who are incarcerated. This is why the Superior Court must act immediately to issue orders releasing people who are currently detained in our jails and juvenile halls pretrial. Failure to do the above will severely endanger people locked up in jail, jail staff, their families and their communities. Demand that they act now to protect as many people as possible.
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    Created by Eunisses Hernandez
  • COVID-19: Los Angeles Must Immediately Release People from the County Jails!
    We are not alone in recognizing this crisis of criminalization and incarceration here in Los Angeles and how COVID19 will exacerbate that crisis. Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the recommendations outlined in the Alternatives to Incarceration Working Group’s historic and unprecedented report, “Care First, Jails Last: Health and Racial Justice Strategies for Safer Communities.” Shortly thereafter, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas published a letter outlining his concerns about COVID19’s spreads to the LA jails and calling for a reduction in jail bookings, early release, plans for quarantine and treatment, concerted efforts to reduce virus transmission and a plan for expected staffing shortages. We are also not alone in calling for significant and timely steps towards decarceration. On Saturday, March 14, Judges from the Cleveland, Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Court announced their intention to seek the release of hundreds of people incarcerated in their county jails. Like us, these judges recognize that jails pose threats to our larger community and the incarcerated people themselves. On Tuesday, March 17, the New York City Board of Corrections, the independent oversight Board for the city’s jail system, issued a call for incarcerated people at high risk to be immediately released and for the overall jail population to be rapidly and drastically reduced. Also on Tuesday, March 17, thirty one elected prosecutors from around the country, but not from Los Angeles, published a letter advocating that counties “implement concrete steps in the near-term to dramatically reduce the number of incarcerated individuals” to prevent the potentially “catastrophic” spread of COVID19. We also join epidemiologists in warning that it is not a matter of if COVID19 enters your facility -- but when. For these reasons, we demand that you, as correctional health care leaders, do your part. We ask that you: 1) Prepare a list of your incarcerated patients who are most medically vulnerable and who require immediate release. We demand that you prepare that list within one week, notify the public that the list has been made available to correctional authorities, the courts and city/state leaders, and advocate for their early release with linkages to housing and healthcare services. 2) Use the legal authority granted to you to declare COVDI19 a liable danger to those currently held in the county jails and advocate for their immediate release to safe and meaningful housing. 3) Identify, coordinate and provide the services incarcerated people need upon their release (e.g. HIV care for those who are HIV+, substance use treatment centers for those with substance use disorders, homes and shelters for those who are houseless, etc) to ensure their ongoing protection from this epidemic. The County should use the recently approved recommendations from the Alternatives to Incarceration Working Group to build infrastructure that addresses and also outlives this emergency to achieve our shared goal of reducing the jail population.
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    Created by Mark-Anthony Clayton-Johnson
  • Tell Governor Parson to implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions in Missouri now!
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now officially classified as a pandemic and the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director has stated, “it’s going to get worse''. Across media outlets, the prevailing safety precautions include “wash your hands" and “stay home”. However, residents in this state are not guaranteed to have access to these basic necessities. Water shut-offs, evictions and homelessness significantly worsen the threat posed by COVID-19. If more residents are evicted during this period, COVID-19 could start to spread more rapidly among those who become homeless. We cannot afford to have more emergencies on top of the current emergency. We urge Governor Mike Parson to follow the lead of Detroit and San Jose - to stand with your constituents, to stop preventable illness and displacements and implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions, utility shut offs, and job layoffs in the state of Missouri.
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    Created by Schnell Carraway
  • Tell Governor Abbott to implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions in Texas now!
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now officially classified as a pandemic and the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director has stated, “it’s going to get worse''. Across media outlets, the prevailing safety precautions include “wash your hands" and “stay home”. However, residents in this state are not guaranteed to have access to these basic necessities. Water shut-offs, evictions and homelessness significantly worsen the threat posed by COVID-19. If more residents are evicted during this period, COVID-19 could start to spread more rapidly among those who become homeless. We cannot afford to have more emergencies on top of the current emergency. We urge Governor Greg Abbott to follow the lead of Detroit and San Jose - to stand with your constituents, to stop preventable illness and displacements and implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions, utility shut offs, and job layoffs in the state of Texas.
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    Created by Joel Jackson
  • Tell Governor Tom Wolf to implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions in Pennsylvania!
    Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now officially classified as a pandemic and the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director has stated, “it’s going to get worse''. Across media outlets, the prevailing safety precautions include “wash your hands" and “stay home”. However, residents in this state are not guaranteed to have access to these basic necessities. Water shut-offs, evictions and homelessness significantly worsen the threat posed by COVID-19. If more residents are evicted during this period, COVID-19 could start to spread more rapidly among those who become homeless. We cannot afford to have more emergencies on top of the current emergency. We urge Governor Tom Wolf to follow the lead of Detroit and San Jose - to stand with your constituents, to stop preventable illness and displacements and implement a rent freeze and moratorium on all evictions, utility shut offs, and job layoffs in the state of Pennsylvania.
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    Created by Salaah Muhammad
  • Baltimore City Council: Say no to spying on your constituents!
    Baltimore is the latest city with plans to invest thousands of taxpayer dollars into a rebate program that will allow it to spy on its own residents. Just last week, councilman Eric Costello, introduced legislation that would give Baltimore residents up to $150 to install a private doorbell camera system, like Ring or Nest, in their homes. The catch? To receive the money, residents first have to sign up for the police department’s CitiWatch Community Partnership program. This will allow the police to identify and target all the homes that have those camera systems installed. In order to qualify, residents must also agree to point the camera into a public space for at least two years. The dangers of a program like this are too many to list. In major cities across the nation, the police have already used this kind of footage to carry out sting operations, make targeted arrests, and push legislators to enact “broken windows” policies to imprison countless poor people throughout the country. That’s why any council member who claims to care about their constituents will refuse to allow this legislation to move any further. We know mass surveillance and broken window policies don’t keep our communities safe. With no oversight for the use of this footage, Black Baltimore residents run the risk of winding up in a unregulated police database, or even arrested and prosecuted, due to the disproportionate use of this technology against our people. Police violence against Black people is at an all-time high and we cannot allow lawmakers to ignore how surveillance partnership programs with law enforcement so often result in potentially violent interactions with the police. The city should not be paying residents to spy on each other, they should be investing that money in resources that actually keep people safe: things like good schools, quality mental health care institutions, trauma centers, and employment opportunities. It’s time for Baltimore City Council to protect their constituents, not put them in harm’s way. Sign to make your voice heard today. Tell Baltimore City Council to say no to mass surveillance!
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    Created by Concerned Baltimore Resident
  • Ask about #metoo!
    #AskaboutMeToo at the November 20th debates in Atlanta. Two years ago, we raised our voices in the name of courage and accountability. 19 million of us showed up for ourselves and showed up for each other, and we’re not turning back. We believe that healing is a form of action, and taking action helps us to heal. Two years later we continue to call on political leaders to demonstrate their commitment to survivors by putting forth solid policy proposals that will aid in survivor’s healing, provide necessary services and benefits, and expand the laws to ensure that they cover all survivors- no matter what kind of sexual violence they have experienced, where they have experienced it, by who or when. We want to hear candidates address ending sexual violence as an epidemic during the debates. We want all presidential candidates to layout specific plans to address sexual violence, including harassment, and supporting survivors.
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    Created by 'me too' MVMT