Release Non-Violent Offenders Due To The Deadly COVID-19 Virus
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Dear Governor Cooper,
I am asking you to help save lives in the State of North Carolina. I am also asking the General Public to participate in the matter of saving lives. I am asking you, Governor, to send all inmates home who are incarcerated for non-violent offenses and have less than 30 days remaining before their max out dates. This action by your administration would give the prison facilities the additional, and much needed, medical triage and logistic space for those who will become infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Inmates housed in all North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections facilities are without adequate medical staff and are without proper medical equipment, sterilization techniques, gloves, sanitizers, masks, and other necessary medical equipment. Sir, Hospitals are expected to be full, and transporting inmates housed at non-24-hour medical camps will be impractical and risky.
North Carolina prisons are less sanitary and the living conditions are extremely close. Most camps have 64 inmates in each dorm, including (4) communal bathrooms/showers. Inmates are sleeping within 2 ft. of each other, 24/7.
Mr. Governor, your intervention is needed because Non-Violent Offenders are at risk of death, and these people were not given a death sentence. North Carolina prisons are populated mostly with inmates 40 or older. The First Step Act by President Donald J. Trump is too slowly being implemented for Non-Violent Offenders. Just recently, families were prohibited from visiting their loved ones due to the COVID-19 and they were not screened or tested before entering the prison facility. Unfortunately, because of that, there may already be positive cases inside the facilities.
There are inmates all over North Carolina who are on work release and every day they leave the prison, which means they are at higher risk of exposure to this virus.
Mr. Governor, not every person exposed will become sick, but statistically, too many people will die; therefore, prevention of concentrated spread/exposure is needed, and your help is needed for these inmates to survive.
Those who have less than 30 days remaining may have served decades in prison and have remained infraction free so they will be able to come home at the end of their sentence. Those who are under 30 days should be released immediately.
They have served their time, Mr. Governor.
The First Step Act is compassion and fairness for Non-Violent Offenders. Deaths can be avoided on your watch Mr. Governor. You can take the first step and illustrate to all citizens how important their health is and release them early.
Mr. Governor, I am a former inmate in North Carolina and when I was bitten by an insect on my right leg, I did not receive adequate medical attention. After consulting with a nurse, I was placed on a waiting list to see the Doctor, in which the Doctor was scheduled to come the next week. During the waiting period, my leg began to swell to the point that it looked like the arm of a couch. I then declared a self-emergency and spoke with a triage nurse who recommended that I elevate my leg and apply ice to reduce the swelling. That was all they recommended even though I was in pain. The following week came and I saw the Doctor. He diagnosed me with having a mosquito bite, which three weeks later he diagnose me of having an ACL tear. His diagnosis made no sense. Since my release, I consulted with my family doctor, who told me that I was bitten by a brown recluse spider and that had I not contacted medical staff when I did, it could have led to more serious problems for me. The injury on my leg was not taken seriously, the doctor could not properly diagnose me, and I was not administered decent medical care.
Mr. Governor, just imagines what a positive COVID-19 inmate would go through in your prisons.
It's simple, they will die.
Releasing Non-Violent Offenders and those who are under 30 days would ease the burden on medical staff, costs and would make room for triage or quarantine.
These inmates need to come home to their families during this crucial time. They deserve a second chance in society but they don't deserve to be subjected to the Coronavirus and risk death due to North Carolina's inability to treat them and give them decent medical care.
Mr. Governor, I pray that you will take this into consideration and take action immediately.
Gerald D. Jackson
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