TAKE ACTION! Email or Call your legislators with this pre-made message to reform the Criminal Justice System's response to COVID-19
The following e-mail template is open source and was made by the Policy Initiatives Institute team. Given the current conditions involving COVID-19 and its ability to spread extremely easily in the prison system, the Policy Initiatives Institute calls on you to email the following to your legislators (or call them with the message); click read more! If you support our mission to improve the ability for the incarcerated to live in bearable conditions, please share the following with your friends and family so that it can be passed.
1-Minute: Copy and paste this into an email!
Brief overview of what you are fighting for:
The Prison System is broken. In fact, there are almost 2.3 million people in thousands of prisons, jails, and detention centers. Although the system is large, and although the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) markets the system as “safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure,” COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on the lives of prisoners. Over 44,000 prisoners have already contracted COVID-19 according to tests that only include 13% of the total population. A variety of things can be done and NEED to be done to eliminate the squalid conditions that prisoners have to endure through to ultimately undermine the spread of COVID-19 any further. If you need further information, click the button below:
One thing you could do to pass these policies is to email the following to your representative. Comment down below which representatives/senators you have sent the message to!
Find your representative/Senator
Developed by the Policy Initiatives Team:
Dear Representative _________,
I write to you deeply concerned with the broken criminal justice system and its handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, there are over 2.3 million prisoners held in prisons, jails, and detention centers; despite being part of an elaborate system, each prisoner lives in squalid conditions that do little to nothing to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Most of these prisoners are denied the right to obtain medical care, fail to have basic necessities such as soap and hand sanitizer, and are forced to live in close proximity to other prisoners due to overcrowding. Furthermore, the current way of preventing further crowding to prevent the spread is inefficient; while prosecutors are dropping cases against technical violations of parole and smaller misdemeanors, recent estimates place that 40% of the 2.3 million people being held in prison are there because of the same violations no longer being pursued. A person’s right to safety, especially safety from deadly viruses, should not be dependent on the actions they've taken in the past and should be an inalienable right. A more elaborate national plan by the Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice is not only needed to be developed but also needed to be properly implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the prison system.
In March of 2020, various state, district, and prosecuting attorneys across the United States signed a letter called "JOINT STATEMENT FROM ELECTED PROSECUTORS ON COVID-19 AND ADDRESSING THE RIGHTS AND NEEDS OF THOSE IN CUSTODY" to eliminate the threat of COVID-19 in the prison system. A hopeful bill would provide proper ways for prisoners to be released or be placed in home arrest, increase conditions for those that cannot be released on account of maximizing public safety, protect illegal immigrants when being detained, and give more freedom to those being convicted of non-violent cases in a variety of ways. All of the following has been addressed in the aforementioned letter and in a student-led publication written by student-authors at the Policy Initiatives Institute linked here (https://policyinitiatives.weebly.com/health/how-prisons-became-hotspots-for-covid-19-and-what-the-criminal-justice-system-can-do-about-it).
It is past time that we treat prisoners as human beings. I urge you to sponsor a relevant bill and take on Congressional Leadership to advance this act, which could help save lives.
_________(first name)_________ _____(last name)________.