Stop the Spread of COVID-19: Free the Elderly and Sick from Prisons and Jails

TAKE ACTION NOW

The only way to stop the deadly spread of COVID-19 in Indiana's jails and prisons is to act now. As the pandemic quickly spreads, every day Indiana officials do not act is another day that lives are at risk. We must heed the advice of public health experts to reduce the number of people in jails and prisons.

That's why we're calling on Governor Holcomb to heed the recommendations of 800+ public health experts, including experts from the Hoosier State, to reduce incarcerated populations across Indiana, especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Given Indiana's jail overcrowding crisis, conditions are ripe for outbreaks across the state. We know the humanitarian and public health tragedy that is just around the corner if we do not act immediately. Over the last week, a number of states have taken a devastating turning point with COVID-related deaths in jails and prisons.

A prison sentence should not become a death sentence. There is still time to save many lives, but time is running out fast. It's on all of us to call for immediate actions that will protect the people most vulnerable to this pandemic – that includes those involved in the criminal legal system.

The time for Governor Holcomb to act is now.

individuals behind bars with a call to take action
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Your Message

Dear Governor Holcomb,

I am writing to urge you to take action to protect the lives of people in jails and prisons during the coronavirus pandemic.

People in prisons and jails are highly vulnerable to outbreaks of contagious illnesses like coronavirus. Prior to the public health emergency, Indiana county jails were already facing an overcrowding crisis, with 77 percent of Indiana’s jails overcrowded or at capacity in 2018. Overcrowding in these facilities increases the public health risk for everyone. Some Indiana counties have taken steps to reduce their jail population amid this pandemic, but statewide action is critical.

Indiana law allows for steps to be taken to release both those awaiting trial and those convicted, to safer environments. We ask that you work with the courts to take emergency actions.

I am counting on you to take proactive steps that will decrease the chances of an outbreak in jails and prisons and save thousands of lives.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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