COVID-19 Emergency Response: State & Federal Prisons

State and Federal Officials should take the following actions to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 both within state and federal prisons and in the communities in which they are located: 

  • Release all elderly people unless there is clear evidence that release would present an unreasonable risk to the physical safety of the community. 
  • Release populations that the CDC (Center for Disease Control)  has classified as vulnerable (those with asthma, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes) unless there is clear evidence that release would present an unreasonable risk to the physical safety of the community. 
  • Reduce the prison population to ensure that capacity is such that cells are not shared, there are sufficient medical beds, and enough prison staff to ensure safety for staff, those incarcerated, and visitors.
  • Provide soap, CDC-recommended hand sanitizer, medical care, comprehensive sanitation and cleaning of facilities and other safety measures free of charge as recommended by the CDC for those who remain incarcerated.
  • Eliminate medical co-pays within prisons.
  • Release to the public the existing plan and procedures in place to address COVID-19 within state and federal prisons.

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