No one should be subjected to inhumane conditions—not in a pandemic, not ever. But in the United States, 2.3 million people are incarcerated in prisons, jails, and immigration detention centers, where human rights abuses are rampant.
COVID-19 has multiplied the dangers of imprisonment exponentially. Facilities are often overcrowded; have limited access to health care, hygiene items, and protective gear; and people inside are more likely to have preexisting medical conditions. At least 391,782 people have tested positive for COVID-19—and more than 2,506 have died.
And while states have ramped up vaccination efforts, millions of incarcerated and detained people are being left behind. Nationwide, less than 1 in 5 people in state and federal prisons have been vaccinated. And some states haven’t even begun vaccinating people behind bars.
Join AFSC to call governors in every state and the heads of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Urge them to help create healthier and safer communities for all by releasing as many people as possible, providing vaccine access to everyone who is incarcerated, and taking other steps to protect people from COVID-19.