The coronavirus outbreak has infected over five million people and killed over 333,000 people around the world. We all have had to do our part to protect ourselves and each other such as social distancing, wearing masks, washing our hands and sanitizing, etc. However, there are definitely populations that are more at risk than others. The obvious are those with preexisting conditions and seniors. But one subset of people often overlooked are incarcerated individuals.

Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform are calling for protection for youth in custody because there are “nearly 60,000 youth under age 18 are incarcerated in juvenile jails and prisons in the United States,” according to the ACLU. Prisons around the country have been battling severe outbreaks. NYTimes reported that young inmates are “pacing and praying,” seeking release to avoid catching the virus.

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It was discovered about a month ago that prisons and jails are breeding grounds for the disease. 1,858 coronavirus tests were positive in a single prison in Ohio. On May 20th, The New York Times reported that 1,256 guards are infected and 6 are dead from the virus at Riker’s Island Jail.

A bill has been introduced to protect those in correctional facilities (both inmates and guards). The COVID–19 Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act would incentivize state and local officials to reduce jail and prison populations, stop arrests, provide communities with re-entry support, and fund testing and treatment for COVID-19 to individuals in state correctional facilities.

Sign this petition to support the passage of the COVID-19 Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act and save lives!

While you’re here, sign these other petitions to help save more lives:

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