Release - Family Members of Incarcerated People & Community Groups Gather in Dozens of Vehicles for In-Car Protest Outside Gov. Lamont’s Mansion, Demanding Action in Face of COVID-19
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 6th, 2020
Contact: Yan Snead, [email protected] | (518) 360-1534
Follow on Twitter @KatalCenter #FreeThemNowCT #COVIDBehindBars
Family Members of Incarcerated People & Community Groups Gather in Dozens of Vehicles for In-Car Protest Outside Gov. Lamont’s Mansion, Demanding Action in Face of COVID-19
Gov. Lamont Stands Alone in Tri-State Area -- NJ and NY Have Begun Releasing Some People; Even Trump Admin Has Ordered Limited Release
Dozens Outside Lamont’s House, Honking Car Horns, Demand: Act Now to Save Lives by Releasing Incarcerated People
For images and videos of the action, see our Twitter feed here.
Hartford, CT – Today, dozens of families of incarcerated individuals and community groups convened outside Governor Lamont’s home with a caravan of cars to demand the immediate release of people from Connecticut jails and prisons due to COVID-19.
Directly impacted people, constituents, and community groups have demanded for weeks that people be released from jails and prisons in the face of the COVID-19 crisis (see examples here and here). Yet Governor Lamont has refused to take the necessary preventive measures to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 within the Connecticut Department of Corrections. This stance puts incarcerated individuals, correction officers, and everyone in the state at greater risk to the spread of and death by COVID-19. As COVID-19 rapidly spreads throughout jails and prisons in the state, it is reprehensible and unconscionable that Governor Lamont has yet to release incarcerated individuals or provide a specific COVID-19 response plan. Lawmakers in Connecticut agree, and have called on Governor Lamont to protect incarcerated people from COVID19 by releasing them. Throughout the country, public health experts have called for the release of incarcerated people to reduce the impact of COVID-19, including doctors in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
Jails and prisons are notorious incubators of contagions, due to close quarters and unsanitary conditions, meaning that Governor Lamont’s inaction and lackluster leadership in the midst of this public health crisis will result in needless deaths. We are a few weeks away from the peak of deaths from COVID-19. Both New York and New Jersey, along with states across the country, have all begun releasing people from jails and prisons to mitigate the spread. Shockingly, even the Trump Administration is planning to release some people incarcerated in federal facilities in Connecticut to limit the harm caused by COVID-19. Thus, the Trump Administration is doing more for incarcerated people in Connecticut than is Connecticut’s own Governor.
Connecticut remains a senseless outlier even as disaster strikes neighboring jail systems and it is clear among public health experts and head of corrections that there is no way to do effective infection control inside a prison or jail. We are out of time and unless Governor Lamont implements swift, aggressive system-wide releases, it is only a matter of time until disaster hits jails and prisons in the state. Decarceration is the critical step needed to address this crisis.
Throughout the car rally, dozens of cars lined up outside of Governor’s mansion honking horns and waving signs to call out Governor Lamont’s dangerous reluctance to protect kids and adults in Connecticut prisons and jails. Directly impacted family members and constituents circled Governor Lamont’s mansion demanding that he take swift and aggressive action to decarcerate Connecticut jails and prisons to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 within the Connecticut Department of Corrections and save lives. As COVID-19 deaths in New York jails and prisons begin to increase, it is only a matter of time till Connecticut is next. Without action, people will needlessly die.
For interviews with participants of the action, please contact
Yan Snead, [email protected] | (518) 360-1534