Right now, Wisconsin state prisons are on the brink of becoming a public health catastrophe – and we need your help to stop it.

The meteoric spike in COVID-19 statewide has set off a severe outbreak in Wisconsin prisons. There have now been more than 9,000 positive tests overall, with over 1200 active cases throughout the system. Inaction on the part of our public officials helped lead to this crisis, and the only chance we have at overcoming it is dependent on strong leadership going forward.

An outbreak of COVID-19 in our prisons overburdens our hospitals, endangers public health, and could claim the lives of thousands of people. Remember, people who are in prison will need treatment at their local public hospital, many of which are already overwhelmed with increasing rates of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

This prison pandemic most severely impacts Black Wisconsinites, who are 12 times more likely to be incarcerated than whites.

While other states have taken bold steps to protect public health, here in Wisconsin, Governor Evers' administration has not reduced the prison population enough to allow for social distancing.

While running for election, Governor Evers himself pledged to reduce the state's prison population by half – and now is the time to do it.

Message Recipients:
Governor Evers

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Wisconsin’s overcrowded prisons are an imminent threat to the health of our communities, and public health experts have been clear that reducing prison populations is vital to combating the spread of this disease.

I’m calling on you to work with state corrections officials to reduce the prison population down to a level where social distancing is possible, giving priority to the elderly and those with conditions that increase their risk of COVID-19 complications and death.

While other states have taken bold steps to protect public health, here in Wisconsin, the prison population has decreased by less than 10%, not nearly enough to allow for social distancing.

The very modest steps taken so far by state officials are simply not enough to prevent an outbreak that strains our hospital system, endangers public health, and could claim thousands of lives. State officials have the power to avert this catastrophe – and we need you to act now.

Please heed the advice of public health experts and use your power to release vulnerable people from prisons immediately.


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