Prisons & ICE Detention Centers: Free our loved ones now!

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The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to cause the deaths of thousands of people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and immigration detention centers. Now is the time to end the racist mass incarceration machine.  Release incarcerated people in federal, state and local jails, prisons, juvenile “justice” facilities and immigration detention centers now!

Prisons are concentration camps for the poor, disproportionately Black, Brown and indigenous, migrant, disabled and increasingly aged. Basic healthcare is notoriously inadequate for incarcerated people. Prisons act as incubators for COVID-19.

Not only is social distancing impossible inside prisons, using torturous solitary confinement to quarantine prisoners suspected of being infected with COVID-19 only encourages prisoners to not report their symptoms.

The COVID-19 pandemic will be a death sentence for thousands of incarcerated people. Release them now -- especially pre-trial detainees, the elderly, pregnant, immuno-compromised prisoners, mothers and infants in prison nurseries, and postpartum mothers. Release detained people with less than 18 months on sentences. Commute sentences of people serving life without parole. To save lives, this life-threatening emergency requires urgent new approaches. 

Mass incarceration doesn’t keep people safe. Safety comes when societies take care of people’s human rights -- housing, healthcare, living wage jobs and education --not policing and incarceration. Alternatives to mass incarceration must be explored immediately.

In several U.S. states massive public outcry has pressured officials to release incarcerated people because of the pandemic. In Iran, 85,000 prisoners were released due to COVID19. In Italy, prisoners rebelled and freed themselves.

Whether incarcerated in ICE detention centers or in prisons we don’t want to lose our loved ones.  Don’t let COVID19 turn a prison sentence into a death sentence. Release them now!

We demand:

  1. Stop jailing people – especially in oppressed communities – for non-violent, minor crimes and misdemeanors. No cash bail!
  2. Immediate release of incarcerated people; access to SNAP benefits, emergency housing, and enrollment in public healthcare for all..
  3. Spend trillions on human needs, not mass incarceration and Wall Street!

Endorsed by:

Workers Solidarity Network- Philly

Workers World Party

International Action Center



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