Arkansas' prisons and jails have the potential to become powderkegs of this disease, threatening not only the health of incarcerated people but also the community at large.
While many local sheriffs have heeded the advice of public health experts and reduced their incarcerated populations, Governor Hutchinson's administration has resisted our calls to release the vulnerable and medically-frail from state prisons.
Older people and people with underlying health conditions should immediately be considered for release or home detention. In addition, people serving sentences for drug and other low-level offenses and people whose release or parole eligibility dates are approaching should be considered for release or home detention to make room in the facilities for proper social distancing. The health and safety of people who are incarcerated, detention facility staff, and the public depends on it.