Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting everything, leaving nothing and no one untouched. That includes the criminal justice system and its many functions. This means important demands are finally being met that directly impact our people.
Black activists have long been demanding an end to bail, the unjust way people who can’t afford to pay their way out are kept behind bars. Now, prisons and jails are trying to release as many people as possible, because the system will suffer more if Coronavirus spreads on the inside - but there’s more to it than just that.
In addition to releases of “low-risk” people from prisons and jails, police departments will not be enforcing evictions in many places. People can’t work and the market is in major trouble thanks to COVID-19.
Arrests will decrease in many places as police staff also declines, which reveals something extremely important.
Black America has been facing a crisis with the criminal justice system for generations. It shouldn’t take a pandemic to show that people DO NOT have to be caged up, dragged through the system, and have their life ruined! This could have been happening all along!
Don’t think these changes mean the system is going to stay this way. While these are supposed to be temporary, we need to demand that this be permanent. People don’t need to be locked in high-risk facilities by an unjust system during a pandemic OR any other time!