Public defenders are working with the courts to secure release for people incarcerated in the Florida county, many of whom are jailed for low-level offenses.
Victoria Law Apr 08, 2020
District attorneys in the state could decarcerate quickly by dropping unnecessary cases.
They make roughly half the average national income, and they’re at risk of COVID-19 exposure as they continue to work to ensure shelves are restocked and communities fed.
Don’t Look to the DOJ to Keep Federal Prisons and Their Surrounding Communities Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Experts are urging large-scale releases. But the Department of Justice often operates contrary to expertise.
At the Center of the Coronavirus Pandemic, People Inside NYC Jails Describe Fear, Confusion and a Lack of Supplies
'They're not supplying us with masks, they’re not supplying us gloves, they're not supplying us with decent cleaning supplies.'
Despite risks to incarcerated people and the public, Florida is sending prisoners to perform hard labor.
Voting Rights Advocates Sound the Alarm About Disenfranchisement of Black Voters in Wisconsin’s Primary
'We literally held an election during a pandemic.'
Kira Lerner Apr 07, 2020
‘It’s Absolute Hell.’ Coronavirus Derails Parole Hearings Across U.S. As Health Risks To Prisoners Grow
In Alabama and elsewhere, canceled hearings and new procedures are complicating the parole process for people hoping to be freed.
It took a prisoner’s death ‘just for them to pass out a single extra bar of soap,’ one incarcerated man said.
Powerful interests exploited Katrina to enrich themselves and transform the city. As a reporter who covered the fallout explains, our government’s lax oversight means the same could happen now, leaving those who most need help behind.
In Austin and across the country, service providers are dealing with spikes in demand, new logistical challenges, and mounting uncertainty about the months ahead.
Jay Willis Apr 06, 2020
Bail will be set at $0 for most misdemeanors and low-level felony offenses.
The state, which accounts for roughly one-third of all positive COVID-19 cases in the country, is facing a rapid spread of the disease in its jail and prison systems.
The emergency program seeks to release a select group of prisoners but does not go far enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, experts and Democratic lawmakers say.
Joshua Vaughn Apr 05, 2020
Lawyers, judges, and advocates for migrant children wonder what it will take to close all 69 immigration courts. ‘I hope that it won’t take a death, but I worry that it will,’ one lawyer said.
Liz Robbins Apr 03, 2020
Inconsistent rules nationwide mean some people are still registering and reporting in person despite public health directives meant to control COVID-19.
People Held in New York Prison Say They Face Abuse After Guard In Their Unit Tested Positive For COVID-19
Men in Unit B-2 at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility say staff members have harassed and abused them since they possibly came into contact with an infected officer.
Los Angeles County judges must move quickly to release a broad group of people in custody.
Alicia Virani Apr 02, 2020
With Prison Visitation Suspended Due To COVID-19, Families Of Incarcerated People Say Phone Calls Should Be Free
Telecommunications companies that serve prisons and jails, like Securus Technologies and Global Tel Link, are offering a limited number of free calls, but families say it’s not enough.
Conservative lawmakers are using emergency measures to restrict access to care.
Prosecutors In This Virginia County Are Letting People Go To Jail for Low-Level Offenses In The Middle of a Pandemic
Public defenders in Fairfax County say their clients are being sent into harm’s way.
With COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the state, there’s heightened concern that the conditions inside Lowell Correctional Institution, coupled with the prison’s sizable elderly and pregnant population, could foster a deadly outbreak.
ICE has adopted no policies aimed at releasing any of the 38,000 people it keeps in county jails and private detention centers across the country.
There are no good reasons for the president to keep vulnerable people behind bars any longer.
Jay Willis Mar 31, 2020
Residents have been told to stay in their homes to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus—but little has been done to ensure they can afford to stay there, activists say.
The Office of General Counsel determined that the governor could likely use reprieves to release vulnerable people from prison to control COVID-19’s spread, but the office is advising against it, according to internal emails obtained by The Appeal.
‘It is progressively getting worse, exponentially worse,’ a resident of one halfway house told The Appeal as part of a survey of facilities. ‘Something is going to happen and it’s not going to be good.’
There’s still a chance to make sure some of the most vulnerable people can benefit from the federal stimulus bill.
We can’t allow “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify leaving some of the most vulnerable people in dangerous conditions.
James King Mar 30, 2020
People held in Bristol County are ‘extremely agitated and panicking’ due to unsanitary conditions and overcrowding amid the coronavirus outbreak.
‘Continuing to maintain these youths in this hotbed of contagion poses an unconscionable and entirely preventable risk of harm,’ one lawsuit states.
Prisoners are “especially vulnerable to contracting and spreading COVID-19,” Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker wrote in his executive order.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 27, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis is shining a light on America’s worsening housing crisis and limited resources for response.
“They are treating it like any epidemic in prison—that is to isolate, treat and then release back to the population.”
State governors and the president have the authority to grant commutations and reprieves to people in prison across the country as COVID-19 spreads.
Social distancing orders are a necessity, but they create a host of new problems for people in treatment for substance use disorders.
Many programs for people on parole, probation, or supervision take place in group settings—the exact opposite of what public health officials are recommending in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Advocates for the area’s homeless residents say the pandemic will worsen the crisis they have already been living through.
Jay Willis Mar 26, 2020
New York City Jails Have an Alarmingly High Infection Rate, According to an Analysis by the Legal Aid Society
“Based on this analysis, New York City jails have become the epicenter of COVID-19,” a Legal Aid attorney said.
“The doctors said they were going to come and do screenings every day, but for the past two days, they’ve just come into the dorm and stood by the front door and yelled, ‘Does anybody have any symptoms?’”
Kim Kelly Mar 25, 2020
Politicians and the general public are ignoring the health and safety needs of those with disabilities and chronic conditions.
“Still no hand sanitizer, no bleach.”
Kim Kelly Mar 24, 2020
The island’s Communicable Disease Unit is already overflowing with quarantined people.
New research shows that jails contribute to infectious disease deaths in the greater community.
In Boston, it’s worse than business as usual at the police department as the pandemic spreads. On a recent day, officers arrested people for charges the district attorney has publicly declined to prosecute.
Up to 1,000 people will have their sentences delayed or suspended.
Kira Lerner Mar 23, 2020
‘Is My Life Not As Valuable As Yours?’ Immigration Judges Want All Courts Shut Down As Coronavirus Cases Soar
The Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies are intersecting with a highly contagious disease at a time when cities across the country are shutting down.
When the dust settles on this pandemic, we need to be clear on what was an emergency response and what is a desirable permanent change.
Advocates have called on Governor Tom Wolf and state Department of Corrections officials to release elderly and infirm people from state prisons. But the law is limiting how quickly they can move.
The H1N1 pandemic, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and other outbreaks have taught us that blanket policies of solitary confinement and isolation have led to harmful outcomes.
The state Department of Corrections confirmed two staff cases of COVID-19. No prisoners have been confirmed to have the virus, the department said.
Kira Lerner Mar 20, 2020
While those facing charges appear by video at arraignments, all others—attorneys, officers, the judge—are in the courtroom in close quarters, defense attorneys say.
Organizers have been collecting signatures as part of a ballot initiative known as State Question 805, which calls for the end of sentencing enhancements for people convicted of nonviolent crimes.
Pennsylvania Man On Death Row Shows Signs of Coronavirus Days Before Hearing That Could Have Freed Him
Prosecutors say Walter Ogrod is ‘likely innocent’ of the charges that sent him to prison in 1996. Now, his attorney says, ‘every day a decision and/or hearing is delayed is another day that Mr. Ogrod’s health is at grave risk.’
But the proposals on the table are leaving our most vulnerable neighbors behind.
Yonah Freemark Mar 19, 2020
Rikers Island Physician Voices Coronavirus Fears As Cuomo Meets With Officials Looking To Scuttle Bail Reforms
Late Wednesday, the chief physician at the Rikers jail complex said on Twitter that judges and prosecutors must not leave New York City's jailed population ‘in harm’s way.’
Conditions at the Newark jail where the strike is taking place were dire even before the threat of COVID-19.
Cascading crises have significantly increased the stakes for the city’s most vulnerable residents.
It should not take a global pandemic for our elected officials to acknowledge that we are all safer if everyone can shower and wash their hands.
In Northampton County, advocates say the practice is putting the people charged for minor offenses, and the broader community, in danger.
How California, which is home to more than half of the country’s unsheltered homeless population, is addressing the needs of the unhoused.
As COVID-19 spreads, ICE detained a Central American immigrant in a hospital, causing confusion and raising concerns.
A man with multiple medical conditions incarcerated on a technical violation urgently needs to be released, his attorney says.
Sheriffs wield enormous power, and they can direct it in ways that will help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect incarcerated people.
At a time when it’s vital to reduce jail and prison populations to prevent outbreaks, this data can help advocates identify areas where that is or is not happening.
Oliver Hinds Mar 17, 2020
In a joint statement, they emphasized the need to reduce the number of people currently incarcerated in order to contain the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Coronavirus Leaves Defense Attorneys Torn Between Visiting Their Jailed Clients And Spreading The Illness
To prevent more people from being infected with COVID-19, defense attorneys are calling for courts to release people.
John Hummel was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday. The court, citing the current health crisis, has postponed the execution for 60 days.
Lauren Gill Mar 16, 2020
To Stop Coronavirus, Places Where People Gather are Shutting Down Across California. What About Its Jails?
Activists are calling on the governor, district attorneys, sheriffs, and judges to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The individual had no contact with people in custody for at least the past month, according to the DOC.
Experts say evictions cause a ‘downward spiral’ of health problems for renters, and that housing security is necessary to slow the spread of the pandemic.
Darwin BondGraham Mar 13, 2020
Judicial responses to the pandemic have varied and are changing rapidly.
Local jails are notorious amplifiers of infectious diseases. If we don’t move quickly to reduce their population, it may undermine our ability to control the new coronavirus, nationally and locally.
Andrew Cuomo, who recently announced the state would employ prisoners to make hand sanitizer, must prepare for the particular vulnerabilities of the state’s prison population to COVID-19, advocates say.
Bryce Covert Mar 11, 2020
The public defender and district attorney both directed their staffs to keep individuals who are more vulnerable to the virus out of jail.