Contain COVID, Not People - Please Sign Open Letter
Mar 18, 2020 —
As individuals and organizations that work with criminalized, imprisoned, and marginalized communities, we are urging the government to take action to protect those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Please share and sign our open letter TODAY to Contain COVID-19, Not People. We demand immediate actions to ensure decarceration and a reduction of prison crowding, prisoner health and wellbeing, free and open communication with those inside, and community health for the working poor and criminalized.
Share and sign the letter today, to be sent to all levels of government on Thursday, March 19:
As governments call on people to prioritize health, protocols to protect the health of people who remain imprisoned have been insufficient. As people and organizations dedicated to supporting individuals who are imprisoned and their communities, we are concerned about the lack of protocols to protect and prioritize the health of those who remain behind bars. People should be released from custody to the extent possible. We demand a response to COVID-19 that leaves no one behind and centres those most impacted. Due to existing unsanitary conditions, close quarters, frequent physical contact, and the underlying chronic health conditions of many detained people - jails, prisons, immigration detention centres, juvenile detention facilities, and courthouses pose specific challenges that threaten the health and wellbeing of our communities. To combat the spread of COVID-19 and prioritize everyone’s health, we must adopt an approach that centres the needs of criminalized people and those made vulnerable to the virus by social inequality.
Thank you for time and attention to this urgent matter. We will be reaching out later this week with next steps and information about our Phone/Email ZAP campaign for prisoner health and communication during the crisis.
Stay safe and let's care for our communities together.
President, CSSDP Ryerson
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