Our organization has always advocated against over-incarceration.

But what #COVID19 uncovered is: our country’s obsession with locking people up in jails and prisons as a first response to everything is NOT a solution--it actually endangers us all.
Mental health, addiction, homelessness; each requires commitments to $$$ and support of real, thoughtful solutions.

But for this thread, let's talk about the safe reduction of incarceration as an overdue imperative, and the necessary response to protect from #COVID19.
Very simply, state govts need to #stopthespread w/ safe releases of people whose incarceration in prisons and jails serves NO public safety purpose + actually undermines our health and safety.
We're in a critical moment: people are seeing that prisons don’t solve all of our challenges -- they can make this pandemic worse.

BC we know that prisons were used as the wrong response to basic health (and other) needs in communities.

Prisons are also overly crowded, making them spreaders of illness, and they have limited medical care.
But how could you *actually* do it?

How can you safely reduce incarceration?

How would it impact communities?
Well, here are a few steps...

You could prioritize the release of several groups of people who pose little risk to public safety and whose continued incarceration undermines the health of communities:
💡There are the elderly and people with serious health conditions -- those most at risk to COVID19. They pose practically no risk to public safety and there are more effective and less costly options than prison.
💡There’s no reason to keep people, who are slated to be released in just days or months, in prisons and jails longer now. Releasing them sooner reduces the likelihood of their contracting COVID19 before their forthcoming release.
💡People incarcerated for technical reasons: failures to pay or appear, etc.

The research shows that longer sentences do not reduce recidivism, compared to shorter sentences, and may actually increase it.
But we know that continuing with crowded prisons now unnecessarily threatens the spread of #COVID19 with no public safety benefit.

We can -- and MUST -- safely reduce incarceration.
You can follow @SafeandJustUSA.
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