5,000 signatures reached
To: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper
Protect Incarcerated People from COVID-19!
As a racial justice organization that advocates for incarcerated community members and their loved ones, we are demanding all public officials to develop a coordinated response in order to reduce the risk of contagion in our communities by doing the following:
- Release as many people as possible from jails, prisons, and detention centers
- Stem the influx of people in and out of these facilities
- Ensure the protection and safety of those who remain incarcerated during the pandemic.
Why is this important?
For the past two months, North Carolina officials have been quickly mobilizing to protect the general public from the spread of coronavirus. Local businesses have been shut down, court proceedings have been suspended for 30 days and public schools will be closed until early May. More recently, Governor Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order to prevent human suffering and the loss of life. However, missing in all of these announcements is a plan that will protect one of the most vulnerable populations in North Carolina - North Carolinians locked away in county jails and state prisons.
All available public health guidelines recommend social distancing and vigilant hygiene as the primary tools to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, these directives are impossible to follow with thousands of people currently housed inside county jails and state prisons. Oftentimes, these facilities are closed and unsanitary environments that present the highest risk of illness from COVID-19. By their very nature, prisons preclude appropriate prevention measures.
Public officials have DAYS, not weeks, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Releasing as many people as possible from cages and stopping the flow of people into them is the best way to do it.