In alliance with the #FreeThemAll4PublicHealth campaign, the Radical Social Work Collective @ NYU is asking that you join us on Tuesday, March 31, from 9am-4pm on Tuesday, for a virtual day of action to demand the immediate release of those held in pretrial detention in NYC jails.
All “non-essential” trials have been suspended, which means people without a conviction will wait in jail, possibly months, before getting legal representation or a hearing. The right to a speedy trial has been suspended, violating constitutional and human rights. We will be calling, emailing, and tweeting Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio to demand the release of New Yorkers as they await trial.
We understand the immediate danger those that are incarcerated face in light of COVID-19, exacerbated by the squalid and inhumane conditions they are subject to, including lack of adequate healthcare. Leaving them in cages is a death sentence.
COVID-19 doesn’t only impact seniors or people with pre-existing health conditions; this affects everyone, and those in NYC jails are 7 times more at risk of catching COVID-19 than New Yorkers on the outside, and 87 times more at risk than the rest of the country. Due process and basic human rights are being violated during this crisis.
What to do:
- Call NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio at (212) 788 2162
- Use the script: “Hi, my name is [Blank] and as a resident of NYC I’m calling to demand that the mayor take action to immediately release everyone detained in NYC city jails, beginning with people over 50, people with chronic illnesses, and immunocompromised people. During this pandemic, the only way to protect public health is to free everyone immediately.”
- Report back on what they said by filling out this Google Form: bit.ly/FreeThemAllReportback
- You can also tweet: “@NYCMayor @NYCGovCuomo @CrimJusticeNYC Due process & the right to speedy trials are being violated. You must save lives by immediately releasing everyone in pretrial detention. All incarcerated New Yorkers are vulnerable. #WhereisDueProcess #FreeThemAll4PublicHealth“
Resources & Further Reading:
- “If Social Distancing is Impossible in Prisons, People Should Be Freed”
- Twitter thread on conditions in Rikers
- “Coronavirus Update: Rikers Island Rate of Infection 7 Times Higher Than Citywide, Legal Aid says”
- “Let Them Out Now”
- “Release People From Jail to Prevent a Coronavirus Catastrophe Behind Bars”
- Brooklyn Defender detailing conditions in Rikers