Tell Governor Edwards and the Trump administration to Release Vulnerable Louisianans from Prison

As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the lives of thousands of Louisianans, public health experts are warning that the state’s overcrowded prisons and jails are becoming tinderboxes for this disease.

Louisiana’s prisons and jails, where social distancing and other mitigation measures recommended by the CDC are impossible, now pose an imminent threat to the people incarcerated there as well as the surrounding communities. At the federal prison in Oakdale, a COVID-19 outbreak has already claimed the lives of five human beings, including a father who was serving a 30-year sentence for a drug offense.

Mass incarceration, already a harmful miscarriage of justice, is now an urgent threat to public health. This is especially true for Black Louisianans who are disproportionately impacted by our broken criminal legal system.

Take action now and tell Governor Edwards and the Trump administration to heed the advice of public health experts and release elderly and vulnerable people from prison.

To: Governor John Bel Edwards and federal officials

Releasing vulnerable people from prison is vital to combating the spread of COVID-19. The crowded conditions in our corrections facilities, where social distancing is impossible, is now putting all Louisianans at risk. Please release vulnerable people now so they can safely social distance and help stop the spread of this deadly disease.