Our new reality: Reducing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails

Mar 29, 2020

Like many of you, we’re adjusting to a new reality in light of COVID-19. It’s caused us to think even deeper about the health and safety of the people we care about—especially those in vulnerable communities.

So we’re making a bold call: We’re re-focusing our current efforts and shifting resources to support our partners in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails across the country.

That’s why we’ve decided to support three different policy platforms all working to make sure we flatten the curve within and outside of our incarcerated communities:

  • The Humane Outbreak Response proposes how public and private officials in our justice system should respond to COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons, jails, and courthouses.
  • The SAFER Plan focuses on how governors across the country can take action right now to keep those working and residing in prisons and jails safe and healthy.
  • Alliance For Safety and Justice’s Stop The Spread Plan calls on Congress to take direct action to provide funding for some of our most vulnerable people.

If you can, take a moment to look through some of these policy proposals and encourage your networks to do the same.

People working and residing in prisons and jails have already tested positive for COVID-19. And we know that once an outbreak happens, it’s going to spread incredibly quickly because of the close quarters, unsanitary conditions, and lack of access to hygiene products. Many incarcerated individuals are older, or otherwise members of a population that is more vulnerable to the virus—not to mention just the sheer number of people that cycle through our justice system.

With the highest incarceration rate in the world, and 2.3 million people who are in prison or jail on any given day in the U.S., an outbreak in these facilities poses a huge threat to the entire country.

We’ll have more information on how you can get involved and spread awareness soon, but for now, keep practicing social distancing, wash your hands, and stay home, if you can.

We can get through this together.