Advocates for those with no voice have been pressuring governors and other officials to reduce prison and jail populations, which has already resulted in 23 executive orders in 15 states. “To date, this work has led to at least 17,000 fewer people in prisons and jails” (ACLU).
Other efforts include no arrests for all but serious offenses and the end of cash for bail from people who can’t make bail and therefore can’t be released as they await trial. I saw a recent piece in The Monitor where Michael Cohen had been released from prison due to COVID-19. Anyone else released from that prison for the same reason?
There’s a big story no one seems to be covering: immigrant detention conditions and deaths. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not been forthcoming with any info on these two important pieces of information. Nearly all people in detention facilities are not criminals, a picture of detention ICE likes to frame that way. Detainees cannot practice social distancing, and probably not multiple hand-washings. There may be little hand sanitizer, but then, we don’t know. Why is that? How many deaths?
Prisons, jails, nursing and retirement homes are now being included in numbering cases and deaths. The public needs to know the complete swath of the impact of COVID-19.
Shirley Rickett Alamo