WE NEED A COVID-19 Detention Center Plan!!!!- Fayetteville (NC) URGENT!!!!!!!

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WE REQUEST IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION OF A DETENTION CENTER COVID-19 PLAN TO REDUCE THE INCARCERATED POPULATION OF the CUMBERLAND COUNTY (NC) DETENTION CENTER….. in order to mitigate the health risk posed by potential clustering of the virus in the facility and our community. 

 We are counting on our elected officials and justice practitioners to do everything possible to protect our Community!! The prospect of an unmitigated COVID-19 outbreak inside of the Detention Center is horrifying… a humanitarian nightmare. The current mitigation plan is not enough!! The plan focuses heavily on screening for fever at intake, sanitization of the facility and care for those suspected of carrying the virus. This plan fails to recognize that a MAJORITY of virus carriers have only mild symptoms and as much as 18% suffer NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL!! The current plan also fails to introduce measures to mitigate viral exposure by REDUCING the vulnerable population. The fewer number of people that pass through the Cumberland County Detention Center, the safer it is for everyone (inside and out of the facility).  We ask that Cumberland County join other North Carolina Municipal governments who have already announced Detention Center Reduction guidance. This is both a public health and human rights issue!!!! Therefore:

  1. We request that Fayetteville and other local municipal Police department in conjunction with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, coordinate to reduce the number of detained personnel in the Cumberland County Detention Center– providing guidance that prompts officers to issue citations in lieu of arrest. This should be done especially in cases of misdemeanor infractions, non-violent felonies, and non-criminal probation or parole violations.
  2. We urge the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Cumberland County District Attorney and Superior Court Judges to immediately develop a strategy to reduce the current Cumberland County Detention Center population by releasing people who are:
                      - in pre-trial detention and unable to afford bail 
                      - over the age 50
                      - have medical conditions which make them particularly vulnerable to the virus 
                      - are within six months of release
                      - Accused of non-violent crimes or assessed to be of no threat to themselves or members of the public, being held for misdemeanors, civil infractions, non-violent felonies, probation violations, or failure to a appear
  3.  We urge the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Cumberland County Health Care Services Agency to continue implementation of several positive aspects of the current health plan. Taking steps to:  - Strengthen hygiene throughout the jail. - Care for anyone in the facility who becomes infected with    COVID-19. There must be one medically appropriate standard of care for all people in our community. Avoid "quarantine" through reliance on solitary confinement, inhumane food service, lack of access to showers, and other basic services.  During this period all prisoners denied family and legal visits should have unlimited phone and video visits at no charge. This policy should apply especially to quarantined prisoners. - Protect all residents and employees from virus transmission.  
  4. Lastly,  we urge the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, municipal governments,Cumberland County Housing and Community Development Department, and Cumberland County Social Services Agency to provide people who are departing Cumberland County Detention Center with adequate health care and a safe means to “shelter in place".

This petition will be forwarded to NC Governor Roy Cooper, NC Attorney General Josh Stein, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, Fayetteville City Council, Mayor Mitch Colvin, DA Billy West & Sheriff Ennis Wright. It already has the pledged support of a coalition of Community Organizations to include:       

Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce (P.A.C.T)                                             

Organizing Against Racism (O.A.R.): Cumberland County, NC  

LGBT + Hearts Place

Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services (RREPS)

Stop killingUs

Butterflies and Pearls

Black Voters Matter

Unheard Voices Unite, Inc.

Lock Nation Inc.

Justice Ministration