April 14th, 2020, 11:30am: Rally at 47-04 Van Dam St, Long Island City, NY 11101 and online here
Formerly Incarcerated People & Advocacy Groups Call on Gov. Cuomo to Free All People Within One Year of Their Release Dates
Advocates Will Rally in Front of Queensboro Correctional Facility Where All People are Within 120 Days of Release and Are at Severe Risk for COVID-19
WHAT: Rally calling for Governor Cuomo to free all people within a year of their release date, including everyone at Queensboro Correctional Facility. This demand is part of a larger list of community demands to release New Yorkers from prison in order to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO: People who have been incarcerated at Queensboro Correctional Facility, prison health experts, and advocacy organizations, including: Brooklyn Defender Services, Center for Community Alternatives, JustleadershipUSA, New York County Defender Services, Parole Preparation Project, Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) Campaign, VOCAL-NY and The Bronx Defenders.
- • In New York State prisons, right now there are 4,788 people within one year of conditional release on a determinate sentence and 2,952 people within one year of release on an indeterminate sentence.
- • Governor Cuomo can unilaterally issue life-saving clemency to anyone in his prisons, yet in the midst of this pandemic he has taken no such action.
- • Last week, NY1 reported on the dangerous conditions and viral spread at Queensboro Correctional Facility. At least two incarcerated people at Queensboro CF have tested positive for COVID-19.
- • Everyone incarcerated at Queensboro Correctional Facility, a state prison in Queens, is within 120 days of the end of their sentences. There is no legitimate argument for making people complete these sentences; an insatiable hunger for maximum punishment will only cause mass sickness and death and further strain hospitals that are on the verge of collapsing under the weight of this crisis.
- Because Queensboro is considered a “short-stay” facility, social distancing is even more difficult than in other state prisons. Incarcerated people sleep within two feet of eachother in giant dorms. In addition, cramped elevators and extremely narrow stairways are the only means to traverse this 6-story facility.
- The demand to free everyone within a year of their release date is part of a broader set of demands necessary to prevent prison sentences from becoming death sentences, including release of all who are elderly, sick, or pregnant.