Covid-19 Response and Resources

Now is the time to support the demands that have already been made of Governor Baker by the Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition, and call on Sheriffs, DA’s and other local officials to release as many people as possible to stop the flow of people into jails, prisons and detention facilities! We need to protect our incarcerated loved ones, all of our safety, and public health  during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that jails and detention centers are deadly places to be, especially during a pandemic. In Suffolk County, they have already taken steps to release people and we must too! It is a matter of life and death. See below to call your Sheriff and DA!

Voices of Incarcerated Women

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Open Letter to Suffolk County District Attorney, Rachel Rollins

We are counting on you to focus on decarceration to save people’s lives, not petitioning to return a
sick man to jail who has not been convicted or sentenced. We are worried about the precedent it will set in Massachusetts.

Local Community Organizations and Activist Demand Action

The Building Up People Not Prisons coalition  represents incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, women and our families from the most incarcerated neighborhoods in Massachusetts, and allies from across the Commonwealth. We are united in our demand that Govenor Baker grant clemency and release as many people as possible from jails and prisons and stop the flow of people into jails and prisons in order to protect public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Families Justice As Healing Press Release.

Mass Bail Fund call to action. We uplift our call to #FreeThemAll with more urgency than ever. There are local and state-specific responses to the current COVID-19 crisis, many with specific calls to release individuals in local jails, prisons, and ICE detention.

Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition calls on Sheriffs, Judges, District Attorneys, Probation and Parole to prevent the spread and release people from incarceration as soon as possible is critical to stopping the spread of covid-19 in prisons across the state.  View our call to action letter.

Doctors Call-on Govenor Baker to lower prison population

As individual members of the Massachusetts General Court, we are writing to ask you to support decarceration measures within the Commonwealth’s prisons and jails during the COVID-19.

Legislators & Members of the Court call-on Govenor Baker to release prisonors.

We encourage Governor Baker to take action that will facilitate social distancing among some of our most vulnerable patients - the incarcerated population -

Support for Bill: HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4963 

To sign on, legislators will need HD4963.

 

Contact your legislators (Reps and Senators) and ask them to sign-on NOW.

If you do not know who they are or how to contact them, go here:

https://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator

Support Free Phone Calls for Incarcerated loved ones

We write now to emphasize that, for those who are not released, telephone, email and video communication must be made available free of charge.

Call out to Elected Officials 

We urge you to use your clemency power and release our incarcerated community
members who are elderly, pregnant and who have compromised immune systems. In

JOINT STATEMENT  from elected prosecutors. Elected prosecutors, have an obligation to protect the safety and well being of everyone in our community, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or country of origin. Those obligations extend behind prison walls.

SJC Ruling Breakdown

Correctional institutions face unique difficulties in keeping their populations safe during this pandemic.

To prevent what could become substantial and widespread violations of constitutional rights.

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Demands from Across 
the Country

Our organizing includes the voices of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated People regarding the urgent funding needed for survival. Organizations and activist throughout the country are collectively asking that support be provided to community-led organizations working to assist incarcerated people and family members of the
incarcerated.

Families First Coronavirus response Act, H.R.

This legislation provides paid leave, establishes free testing, protects public health workers, and provides important benefits to children and families.

Amicus Letters

Families and local organizers speak out......  "We know from our incarcerated loved ones that they do not feel safe where they are as this pandemic unfolds."

Black and Pink ask Suffolk County Courts ...... "We! encourage! this! Court! to! go! one! step! further! and !to !not! deny! relief! to! incarcerated! people! based! on! their! underlying! criminal! charge.!"

Prisoner Legal Services strongly supports the relief sought by petitioners as urgently necessary to avert, or at least mitigate, a coming catastrophe in Massachusetts prisons and jails.

Prisoner's Legal  Services,  Lawsuits against the Commonwealth

Prisoner's Legal Services in Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit requesting that the Court order the Defendants- Governor Baker, Commissioner Mici, Secretary Turco, and Parole Board Chairperson Maroney to take immediate action to release prisoners and ensure that no prison or jail may hold people in conditions where they must eat, sleep, or recreate within 6 feet of another person. 

Prisoner's Legal services filed a class action lawsuit on the grounds that the state is violating prisoners' rights under the 8th and 14th amendments and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.

Sign-On Petitions

The Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition needs your support to protect our incarcerated loved ones, all of our safety, and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that jails and detention centers are deadly places to be, especially during a pandemic. Please sign-on to our Petition asking to release, release, release!

Sign on letters to the National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Sheriff’s Association urging them to use their authority to decarcerate prisons and jails.

If you would like to add your organization to the list of signers, please do so by completing the google form here.

Sign-On Letter for Statement of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated People Regarding the Urgent Funding Needed for Survival.

We are a widely diverse group of people who share an intimate relationship with incarceration. We know how confinement magnifies threats to human health and safety. We have been incarcerated. We are incarcerated. Unless we take immediate measures, the rapid spread of any infectious disease under these conditions will be unstoppable. Inhumane solitary confinement is not to be confused with medical isolation or quarantine. Sign-On to Public Statement on Coronavirus and Mass Incarceration.

Medical Profession sign on. As experts in medicine and public health, we recommend that the Commonwealth take common sense steps to release people from jails and prisons in order to prevent the spread of infection.

 Families Justice As Healing car protest outside MCI Framingham and South Bay Jail. Advocates, chant, "FreeHer", while protesting for the reduction of the prison population, and voice concerns for the safety of the women incarcerated inside the prison during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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