Justice Roundtable’s Guidance for First 100-Days of Biden-Harris Administration: Protect Incarcerated People from COVID-19
WASHINGTON –As the incoming Biden-Harris Administration prepares to take the helm, justice reform advocates urge the new leaders to immediately address the devastation caused by COVID-19 in the nation’s prisons, jails, and detention centers. The Justice Roundtable, a collective of over 100 organizations working to advance justice and end the systematic racism in our legal system, today issued a transition report for the president-elect and the incoming 117th Congress. Transformative Justice provides a comprehensive list of federal criminal justice recommendations, including issues of policing, bail, drug policy, sentencing, reentry and clemency, with specific executive and legislative branch proposals to confront the pandemic in the federal prison system and for people leaving incarceration.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed carceral settings and the most vulnerable incarcerated people are confronted with heightened risk that their punishment will result in a death sentence. Over 250,000 people in prisons and jails have been infected during the pandemic but the government response is inadequate. We require compassionate and informed leadership to saves lives, overcome systematic racism and reform the current criminal legal system,” said Nkechi Taifa, convener of the Justice Roundtable and human rights lawyer.
Transformative Justice notes that each of the report’s areas of foci are negatively impacted by the gross lack of attention to the COVID-19 crisis inside prisons and jails. Reform of pretrial practices can result in fewer people entering jails, changes in law enforcement practices can result in fewer people being arrested and reducing prison populations will create opportunities to reduce overcrowding and thereby allow for the physical distancing essential to slow the spread of the virus. Addressing the COVID-19 crisis is the first step towards reform and transformation of the criminal legal system.
Click HERE for Transformative Justice Transition Report
Nkechi Taifa is the convener of the Justice Roundtable. An expert in the field of criminal justice, she is President and CEO of The Taifa Group, LLC.