Tell Your Representative: Pass HB 37 Now!
Incarcerated Delawareans live in congregate facilities in close contact with each other, officers, and staff, where there is no way to prevent an outbreak and the spread of a highly contagious disease. Despite the Department of Correction’s (DOC) best efforts, as of March 17, 2021, at least 2677 incarcerated people and staff combined have contracted COVID-19, and 13 incarcerated people have died.
In December, Representative Melissa Minor-Brown and Senator Marie Pinkney introduced legislation that would create a public health emergency credit to help save people who have to live and work in prisons through a pandemic or other large-scale public health emergency. Incarcerated people would receive a 4-month credit for each month served during the state of emergency, capped at 8 months.
Despite incredible public support, this legislation has not moved forward since January — effectively keeping incarcerated people and those who work in DOC facilities in harm’s way.
From day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts have recommended reducing the size of the prison population to contain the spread of COVID-19. Neighboring states, like Maryland and New Jersey have taken steps by executive order and/or legislative action to reduce the prison population.
We can’t wait any longer. It is time that Delaware leaders protect the lives of people living and working in our state correctional facilities by passing HB 37 in the House of Representatives.
Please take action now.
Message Recipient: Your House Representative