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There are approximately 2.3 million people incarcerated in the U.S. in local jails, state and federal prisons, immigration detention facilities, Indian country jails and military prisons. The outbreak of COVID-19 is impacting all of us, though some communities are more likely to bear the brunt of an inadequate public health response, especially those held in our country’s prisons and jails.
People living in confined spaces with inadequate access to healthcare and hygiene make prisons and jails high risk environments for transmission of COVID-19.
People living behind bars have a right to health regardless of their incarceration, and not providing appropriate medical treatment, including holding prisoners who suffer from serious and highly infectious diseases with many other prisoners in an overcrowded cell, may amount to ill-treatment. While some states have released people from jails and prisons, so long as there are any people who have contracted COVID-19 within a prison or jail, the possibility of spread remains serious.
Urge your Governor to release as many people as possible to curb the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons and help save lives.