#ClemencyWorks for COVID-19
In partnership with the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, we are calling on governors to exercise their clemency power to release some of the most vulnerable members of our community amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Prison is the worst place a person could be during the coronavirus outbreak. And conditions in prison and jails across the country are growing worse with each day. In New York for example, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak, incarcerated people are 7 times more likely to contract the virus. According to Legal Aid, 75 incarcerated people and 37 correctional staff in New York City jails have already tested positive for COVID-19. But it's only a matter of time before even more are infected in jails and prisons across the country. People trapped in prisons and jails across the country are subject to overcrowding and poor sanitation. They are being forced to share bathrooms, not given access to soap, hand sanitizer, medical supplies, and aren't being tested for coronavirus upon request.
That's why we're calling on governors to exercise their clemency power during the COVID-19 outbreak and release as many women and girls from jails as possible. Many of these women and girls are already suffering from conditions that make them uniquely vulnerable to contracting this deadly virus -- they must be released immediately.
Sign the petition. We need your help to keep up the pressure on governors across the country to do their part in stopping the spread of coronavirus.
Here is the Petition:
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 the midst of the current COVID-19 crisis, the CDC has issued guidelines for people to stay home and practice social distancing of at least six feet. We know this is impossible for those incarcerated. This is potentially a life or death virus for people, particularly those who fall within the most vulnerable populations.
People inside prisons lack consistent access to basic hygiene products to care for their own needs and keep themselves safe during this COVID-19 crisis. We are asking you in good faith to release our most vulnerable loved ones. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and killing thousands of people. Prisons and jails operate mostly on recirculated air, which creates a breeding ground for germs and viruses to multiply and cause further harm to our incarcerated loved ones. We fear that our people won’t be able to fight this deadly virus and survive.
We are asking you to immediately release those who are elderly, pregnant and those with compromised immune systems. Until this immediate release is granted, please ensure that ALL prisons have unrestricted access to cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting supplies and products including soap and water. Allow our loved ones access to daily showers and clean laundry. Most facilities have responded to the threat of COVID-19 exposure by banning visits that serve lifeline to incarcerated people and their families. However, the reality is that staff cycling in and out of facilities present comparable risks and staff exposure has been confirmed within various prisons and jails in different parts of the country.
As members of the communities most affected by the incarceration system, it is extremely concerning that there has been no statement outlining the direct actions and protections being provided for the people who are incarcerated. For these reasons, it is imperative that you do everything in your power to release people through clemency to reduce the number of people who will be exposed to this virus inside prisons. You have the power to save lives by granting clemency. Through our national state ClemencyWorks campaign, we are positioned to provide you with information on women who should be released immediately based on their vulnerability.