Protect vulnerable youth and adults who cannot socially distance

COVID-19 Action

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While many people across the country are social distancing to keep their communities healthy, there are hundreds of thousands who are trapped inside California’s jails, prisons and juvenile facilities.

The confirmed cases of COVID-19 within prisons, jails, and detention facilities have continued to rise at alarming rates. As of December 1, 2020, at least 21,187 people have been infected with COVID-19 while incarcerated in California prisons; 88 of them have died. Countless more have been infected in the state’s jails.

Within those walls, people are jammed in close quarters with no way to social distance and inadequate access to basic hygienic necessities like soap. On top of deteriorating conditions in these unsafe facilities, officials have stripped youth and adults of essential resources, removing access to education, family visits, counseling, and rehabilitative programs. As infections spread rapidly in these facilities, their loved ones and advocates are left in the dark.

We must do more to protect youth and adults isolated from their families in facilities that threaten their lives. Governor Newsom needs to hear from you, demand that he take further immediate action to save lives by meaningfully reducing the number of people detained and incarcerated in California and stopping all transfers to immigration authorities.

Protect our most vulnerable from facing a COVID-19 death sentence while trapped in jails, prisons, and juvenile facilities. Take action.

Message Recipient:
Governor Gavin Newsom

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Your Message

I ask that you use the executive powers you have under the California Emergency Services Act to:

1. Direct the release of all youth detained in facilities that are providing inadequate educational and other rehabilitative programming, any youth within six months of completing their program or disposition, all medically vulnerable youth in juvenile facilities, those detained for violations of probation or failures to appear, and all pretrial and predisposition youth accused of status offenses and crimes not listed in the WIC list of serious juvenile crimes.

2. Limit unnecessary jail admissions and direct the release from county jails of all medically vulnerable people, those within six months of completing their sentences, those on technical parole or probation violations, and those detained pretrial because they cannot afford to post bail.

3. Direct the release from CDCR facilities of all medically vulnerable people including those over 50 years of age and those with underlying medical conditions; release people who are within two years of the end of their prison terms; release everyone who has been found suitable for parole; release everyone whose parole was revoked for technical violations; and otherwise significantly reduce the prison population to allow for safe and meaningful social distancing.

4. Stop all transfers to federal immigration authorities at state prisons and direct the Attorney General to issue guidance to local law enforcement to stop all transfers from county jails to ICE.


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