September 22, 2020– 9:00 am: Albany, New York, Online
Before NYS Senate Hearing on Covid-19 in Prisons and Jails, Advocates to Hold Virtual Press Conference Demanding More Releases and Better Conditions for Incarcerated New Yorkers
In Advance of Giving Formal Testimony, Formerly Incarcerated People, Family Members of Incarcerated People, and Public Health Experts, will Call for Release of Elderly People, an End to Solitary Confinement, and More
WHEN: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 9am
WHERE: On Zoom and Facebook Live: Register here
WHAT: Formerly incarcerated leaders and other advocates will hold a press conference on COVID-19 in prisons and jails in advance of a New York State Senate hearing on the subject. Advocates will highlight their demands for adequately addressing the incarceration crisis, including clemency for elderly and immunocompromised people and people within one year of release, passage of Elder Parole, Fair and Timely Parole, and the HALT Solitary Confinement Act, protection of pretrial reform from further rollbacks, and greater access to PPE and testing.
WHO: Formerly incarcerated leaders and family members of people in prison from Center for Community Alternatives, the #HALTsolitary Campaign, and the Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) Campaign. Additional organizations involved in coordinating the hearing including the Parole Preparation Project and FWD.us.
BACKGROUND: Advocates for incarcerated people are deeply disturbed that Governor Cuomo failed to issue clemency to older and sick people behind bars amid the pandemic, and instead is misusing widespread solitary confinement in lieu of sage medical quarantine. To date, the state has turned a cold shoulder to the more than 48,000 incarcerated New Yorkers who have received inadequate access to PPE and testing, with sharply disproportionate impacts on Black and Latinx people. 81% of people who have died in state prisons during the pandemic were people of color.