Impact of Covid-19 on our criminal legal systems
The emergence of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is causing great concern due to its rapid spread and high death rates, particularly among vulnerable populations. This concern is justified, and urgent action at all levels of government and by people across the country is needed to address this pandemic. If we want to address this and other problems destined to continue arising in the future, however, we must take stock of the way that our shared vulnerability is being highlighted in this moment.
Vulnerable populations are going to be harder hit by COVID-19, according to the latest medical information. The way we have organized significant portions of our society has left many of those people even more vulnerable to the worst effects of this disease. Their increased risks, in many instances, only serve to create greater risks for our broader communities. Our criminal legal and immigrant detention systems have created spaces that are now putting people at extremely high risk, and there is unclear planning or transparency in most places regarding how people in those facilities — and our broader community — will be protected in the days and weeks ahead.
At The Justice Collaborative, we are creating this Response & Resources page to share essential information, proposed policies, and other resources for activists, public officials, and journalists to help them — and all of us — confront this pandemic with a recognition of our shared vulnerability.