The ACLU of Texas and a coalition of civil rights leaders sent almost 500 letters last week to criminal justice officials urging them to take public health experts’ advice and release individuals who are at high risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 from county jails. Specifically, the focus is placed on communities in jails with populations identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as vulnerable, as well as people currently in pretrial detention. …
Public health experts and groups such as the National Commission on Correctional Health Care agree that incarcerated people are at high risk for infection by SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. By following the recommendations outlined in the letter, civil rights leaders believe state and local officials can help stem the spread of the virus in vulnerable communities and the public at large.
The letter was signed by the ACLU of Texas, the Afiya Center, Alliance for Safety and Justice, Faith in Texas, Grassroots Leadership, Next Generation Action Network, Restoring Justice, Texas Advocates for Justice, Texas Appleseed, Texas Civil Rights Project, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Texas Equal Access Fund, Texas Fair Defense Project, Texas Jail Project, UT Austin Senior Lecturer Michele Deitc, and the Workers Defense Project.
Excerpted from The Dallas Examiner. Read the full article here.
Read more about our response to COVID-19 here.