FREE ‘EM ALL!!

There must be a thorough plan to release people from jails, prisons, and detention centers.

THE PROBLEM


Now more than ever it is undeniable that incarceration is a public health problem. Over 2 million people are in cages today in the United States. Most of them do not have access to adequate healthcare and are incredibly vulnerable to this epidemic.  

THE SOLUTION


In this moment, we must get our people out of cages and ensure they have what they need to be healthy and free.

FEDERAL ACTION


Reduce the number of people who are incarcerated to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19: 
  • Use pardon power to commute the sentences of anyone who has a heightened vulnerability to COVID-19, including the elderly, pregnant women, people with illnesses, and people with otherwise compromised immune systems.
  • Commute the sentences of people aged 50 and older who have served at least 10 years in custody. 
  • Commute the sentences of people with determinate or indeterminate sentences who have served at least half of their sentence and/or who have a maximum expiration/conditional release date within the next two years, regardless of medical history. 
  • Expedite review of medical parole applications and urge the parole board to grant every eligible application.
  • Halt all new sentences. Halt all new arrests for minor offenses (traffic fines, etc.)
  • Release all people held on probation and probation technical violations.
  • Suspend all immigration arrests, including at-large arrests and mass workplace raids. 
  • Release all detained individuals (in jails and detention centers) on their own recognizance, minimizing the use of bond, and prioritizing the release of high-risk populations, including but not limited to individuals who are pregnant, disabled, elderly, or living with chronic illness.
Guarantee safe conditions and ensure that transparent plans are in place to address crisis:
  • Create and publically share transparent COVID-19 plans for every facility, including public updates about infection rates and spread including disclosing how many COVID-19 tests and respirators have been allocated to correction agencies. 
  • Require that protective equipment and items be distributed in correctional facilities initially to people who exhibit flu-like symptoms and care workers; require corrections to increase inventory of face masks to distribute eventually to all incarcerated people in its custody.
  • Make available personal hygiene, cleaning, and sanitation supplies free of charge to anyone that remains incarcerated. Hand sanitizer, bleach, and other essential preventative products must be permitted and should not be considered “contraband.” 
  • Publicly disclose to family and affected parties where persons are being imprisoned and conditions of incarceration.
  • Distribute information in accessible formats on COVID-19 and provide daily updates.
Ensure safety and access to people currently incarcerated:
  • Put an end to forced labor in prisons and institute a living wage and hazard pay for incarcerated workers. 
  • If visits are temporarily halted, ensure physical visits resume once the health crisis is contained.
  • Ensure access to phone calls and video “visitation” and expand for all incarcerated people right now and moving forward. This access should be provided free of charge. 
  • Access to free commissionary prior to the event of a lockdown. 
  • Ban the use of solitary confinement even as a means for quarantine. Any quarantine should be medical and take place in a hospital. 
  • Ban the use of chemical agents, pepper spray, and any other device that can create or exacerbate breathing conditions.
  • Waive all transaction fees and end delay period for people receiving money and messages. 
Ensure safety of people recently released:
  • Cancel all probation, parole, and pretrial meetings.
  • Provide resources for virtual/telephonic ICE check-ins and/or automatically postpone ICE check-ins with adequate notice to individuals.
  • Ensure funding for emergency release programs, including support for transportation home, living stipend, and access to healthcare as well as funding for food stamps, housing vouchers, or hotel rooms for those returning home. 
  • Ensure funding for community groups that will assist elderly and sick people who are released and returning home.
Protect migrant populations and undocumented residents:
  • Suspend ALL immigration enforcement activities and operations. DHS must suspend deportations, immigration arrests, mass raids, detentions, and enforcement in sensitive locations.
  • Immediate humanitarian parole should be granted for all detainees and there should be a postponement of all immigration court matters. 
  • USCIS processes all applications that are pending to ensure the continuation of immigration status.

STATE ACTION


Free Em All! There must be a thorough plan to release people from jails, prisons, and detention centers. We demand:
  • Use clemency power to commute the sentences of anyone who has a heightened vulnerability to COVID-19, including the elderly, pregnant women, people with serious illnesses, and people with otherwise compromised immune systems.
  • Commute the sentences of people aged 50 and older who have served at least 10 years in DOCCS custody. 
  • Commute the sentences of people with determinate or indeterminate sentences who have served at least half of their sentence and/or who have a maximum expiration/conditional release date within the next two years, regardless of medical history. 
  • Expedite review of medical parole applications and urge the parole board to grant every eligible application.
  • Commute the sentences of people with medical issues without regard to whether they meet the criteria for medical parole.
  • Create and publically share transparent COVID-19 plans for every facility, including public updates about infection rates and spread, including disclosing how many COVID-19 tests and respirators have been allocated to correction agencies. 
  • Put an end to forced labor in prisons and institute a living wage for incarcerated workers.
  • Require that face masks be distributed in correctional facilities initially to people who exhibit flu-like symptoms and care providers; require corrections to increase inventory of face masks to distribute eventually to all incarcerated people in its custody.
  • Commute the sentences of people serving time in county jails for minor offenses to reduce county jail populations; also commute sentences of people in county jails convicted of low level felonies who have sentences of between one and five years to further reduce intake.
  • Require county jails to check everyone for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If visits are temporarily halted, ensure physical visits resume once the health crisis is contained.
  • Reduce prison and jail populations by halting all new sentences.
  • Reduce prison and jail populations by releasing all people held on probation and probation technical violations. 
  • Stop issuing failure to appear warrants. 
  • Cancel all probation, parole, and pretrial meetings as well as child welfare mandated meetings and check ins. Do not cancel supervised visitation and proceedings that could lead to reuniting children with their families.
  • Ensure access to phone calls and video “visitation” and expand for all incarcerated people right now and moving forward. This access should be provided free of charge. 
  • Make available personal hygiene, cleaning, and sanitation supplies free of charge to anyone that remains incarcerated. Hand sanitizer, bleach, and other essential preventative products must be permitted and should not be considered “contraband.”
  • Commit to non-cooperation with ICE. 

LOCAL ACTION


Free Em All! There must be a thorough plan to release people from jails, prisons, and detention centers. We demand:
  • Immediately release individuals over the age of 50 and others with a heightened vulnerability, including the elderly, pregnant women, people with illnesses, and people with otherwise compromised immune systems.
  • Immediately stop admitting new people to city and county jails on money bonds. 
  • Ensure access to phone calls and video “visitation” and expand for all incarcerated people right now and moving forward. This access should be provided free of charge. 
  • Make available personal hygiene, cleaning, and sanitation supplies free of charge to anyone that remains incarcerated. Hand sanitizer, bleach, and other essential preventative products must be permitted and should not be considered “contraband.”
  • Release anyone currently incarcerated in jails on a city or county sentence of less than one year. 
  • If visits are temporarily halted, ensure physical visits resume once the health crisis is contained.
  • Courts should immediately stop issuing failure to appear warrants. 
  • Courts and correction agencies should cancel all probation, parole, and pretrial meetings.
  • Disclose how many COVID-19 tests and respirators have been allocated to correction agencies. 
  • Require that protective equipment and items be distributed in correctional facilities initially to people who exhibit flu-like symptoms and care workers; require corrections to increase inventory of face masks to distribute eventually to all incarcerated people in its custody.
  • Create and publically share transparent COVID-19 plans for every facility including public updates about infection rates and spread including disclosing how many COVID-19 tests and respirators have been allocated to correction agencies. 
  • Non-cooperation with ICE.

RESOURCES


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