For Immediate Release: July 17, 2020
Contact: Lee Morrow, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-601-7871
591 Catholic Sisters Call for Release of Inmates and Detainees at Risk of COVID-19
Sr. Simone: “The only faithful way forward is to release all prisoners and detainees who are at high risk of infection.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 591 Catholic Sisters signed the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice petition urging Congressional leaders to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated or detained and at risk of COVID-19 and to provide them with access to economic and social supports during this pandemic. All people, including those who are detained or incarcerated, deserve to live with dignity and without needless threat to their health and their lives.
People in jails, prisons, and detention facilities are at greater risk than the general population of becoming ill and dying from the coronavirus. Incarcerated people of color are at even greater risk. Now, the situation has become dire. As of April 29, 2020, at least 57,000 people in prisons across our country have tested positive for coronavirus, and 616 inmates have died of the illness.
Our system of justice must reflect both health justice and racial justice. For the sake of those imprisoned and for the safety of the general public, the 591 Sisters have urged Congress to prioritize the decarceration of as many inmates and detainees in these institutions and detention centers as possible, as soon as possible.
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:
“Because of the failed federal response to the pandemic, tens of thousands of imprisoned Americans have contracted COVID-19 and hundreds have died. Incareated and detained people have every right to remain healthy, but nothing is being done to protect them. The only faithful way forward is to release all prisoners and detainees who are at high risk of infection.”
The petition to Congress can be read here: https://networklobby.org/COVIDpetition
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org