Tell Governor Wolf: Release Our Loved Ones
In April of last year, citing the growing risk of COVID-19 inside prisons, Governor Wolf declared that he would release more than 1,800 people on reprieve. Of those promised releases, approximately 150 people were freed and many were returned to prison when the reprieve was suspended. Since then, nearly 10,000 people incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s prison system have been diagnosed with COVID-19; 96 have died.
Even as vaccinations continue, many Department of Corrections guards have made it clear they will refuse to be vaccinated. As a result, they will continue to carry the virus in and out of prisons with consequences for people inside as well as their families in communities on the outside.
This blatant disregard for human life is appalling. We must choose care, compassion, and humanity over cages, abuse and neglect.
We are asking you to call on Governor Wolf to keep his promise and release people that are most vulnerable in this pandemic.
Here is the Petition:
Dear Governor Wolf,
Last year, you pledged to release more than 1,800 people from the Department of Corrections. To date, only 150 people have been released. Incarcerated Pennsylvanians are subject to conditions that make social distancing impossible, medical treatment limited, and access to care almost non-existent.
In prison, social distancing is impossible. Incarcerated people must contend with the virus locked in their cells for 23 hours and 40 minutes out of 24 hours per day, while being denied access to nutritious food, exercise, and critical medicine. Many of those incarcerated would otherwise be prioritized for vaccination: seniors and people with underlying illnesses. Instead Governor Wolf’s neglect has allowed the virus to ravage Pennsylvania's prison population — our brothers, grandmothers, friends, and cousins.
We call on you to release people under the following criteria:
- Anyone with underlying health conditions or comorbidities.
- Seniors over 60 years old.
- Anyone within 2 years of their minimum.
- Anyone over their minimum sentence (including those serving parole “hits”)
- Anyone serving on a parole violation.
- Anyone who has served 70% of their sentence.
- Anyone who has served more than 20 years.
This blatant disregard your office has shown for human life is appalling. We must choose care, compassion, and humanity over cages. Governor Wolf, release them now!