Improve the quality of life in the prison system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Improve the quality of life in the prison system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Nicole Washington started this petition to North Carolina Governor

During this pandemic of COVID-19, there are many inmates serving time in the prison system who suffer from chronic illness and should have equal opportunity to early release. Many cases of COVID-19 are being reported daily in the prison system and many inmates especially those battling illnesses like diabetes, congestive heart failure, respiratory issues, etc. are  susceptible to testing positive for the virus. If such cases continue to go unaddressed, the quality of life for some can slowly but surely diminish. There are many people who are facing sentences who have been wrongly accused and who may suffer from a severe illness. The majority of the inmates in NC prisons are sentenced to lengthy prison time due to the structured sentencing laws in NC. Due to evidence,testimony, and individual background most inmates should not be incarcerated but perhaps on probation. It is time that Governor Roy Cooper take a closer look at these cases and individuals who deserve to be free.

We’ve shut down schools, we’ve shut down universities, we have limited the number of people to 10 in a gathering ,we have implemented the 6 feet rule – these inmates are on top of each other in dormitories with at least 80 or more per unit sleeping on bunk beds - it is time to decarcerate. 

Governor Cooper has taken bold action to limit public gatherings, he must also take bold action to reduce the number of vulnerable people held in our state’s prisons by utilizing his clemency powers and expediting release and parole to the elderly and chronically ill in our prisons to every extent possible. Our prisons should not needlessly keep people incarcerated who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. The lives of these people are quite literally in the governor’s hands.

By law, the Public Safety secretary has the authority to allow certain individuals to serve their sentence outside of a DPS prison facility, but under the supervision of community corrections officers and/or special operations officers.Governor Cooper has the power to do the right thing for these inmates, citizens of North Carolina. Its time for the Wardens/Superintendents of these prison facilities take a stand – get with the case managers at the facility – review inmates medical status, their actions /behavior while being incarcerated, what their re-offense level is. Granted there are some that are serious criminals but there are more that are serving predetermined sentences based on the NC structured sentencing laws that Judges have no leeway and must sentence accordingly which is causing most NC prisons to be over crowded.

Justice must be served, however what is justice if you have innocent people locked away during such a difficult time and facing the fear of being tested positive for COVID-19. The prison system should reflect on individual rehabilitation. During these trying times, prison should not be a facility where inmates especially those who have chronic illnesses have to live in fear of contracting the virus and their chance at freedom be cut short.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!