We’ve been bringing you coverage of campaigns from grassroots organizations in Providence over the past few years. A coalition of grassroots groups in Rhode Island are coming together and calling on Governor Gina Raimondo to begin immediate release of incarcerated people who would otherwise risk contracting COVID-19. Below is a letter articulating their demands.
Governor Raimondo must take immediate measures to stop the spread of COVID in RI prisons, without subjecting incarcerated people to further violence.
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–> Sign the petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/ell-gov-raimondo-we-need-to-prevent-the-spread-of-covid-19-in-the-criminal-justice-system
Without intervention, COVID-19 will claim the lives of countless community members affected by the criminal justice system.
Join community organizations, faith leaders, and elected officials in Rhode Island in signing on to the list of demands for state leaders regarding the criminal justice system’s response to COVID-19. You can read the list of demands here.
We are asking Gina Raimondo to use her power during this state of emergency to grant parole to anyone eligible, allow medical furlough for all medically vulnerable incarcerated people, and ensure the ACI will provide adequate information and supplies to those held in detention.
We are also calling for police to cease arrests for nonviolent offenses, including all contacts, stops, and warrant enforcements unless there is “reasonable imminent concern for public safety.” These measures will prevent widespread outbreaks of COVID-19 within the incarcerated population as well as within Rhode Island.
These demands follow similar measures seen across the country. The Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Baltimore District Attorneys have announced they will no longer prosecute nonviolent offenses. Ohio, New York, and Sacramento have released hundreds of people in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the prison system.
With this list of demands we hope that Governor Raimondo will commit to pandemic prevention in our prison system with these just and preventative measures. We hope that you can join us today by signing this petition and demanding that we protect ALL Rhode Islanders from the corona virus.
Organizations can sign on to this petition here.
Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance – AMOR
Never Again Action Rhode Island
RI Working Families Party
Formerly Incarcerated Union of Rhode Island
Providence Democratic Socialists of America
Protect Families First
Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere
Black & Pink Providence
Rhode Island South Coast Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG)
Young Democrats of Rhode Island
The Womxn Project
Facilitate Change RI
Substance Use Policy Education and Recovery PAC
Direct Action for Rights and Equality
Cranston Action Network
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Providence
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee Providence
Showing Up for Racial Justice RI (SURJ-RI)
Independent Socialist Group
Sierra Club RI