2014-2021 Press Releases
United Methodist Women Calls on Government to “Continue to Remember Those in Prison” in the Midst of Covid-19 Pandemic
As the novel coronavirus continues to expand its reach, United Methodist Women continues to express our deep concern for the plight of incarcerated people, many of whom are uniquely vulnerable. We believe that God has called us to life abundant, as a community of mutual care characterized by faith, hope and love in action. As such, we take seriously the biblical mandate: “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3, NIV).
There is much that the government can do, now, to preserve the health and life of incarcerated loved ones, actions that will protect the well-being of families and entire communities. To that end, we encourage the following swift action:
- Reduce the number of people entering the system. Suspend immigration raids and enforcement actions. Do not hold people in jail because they are unable to afford cash bail. Do not pursue jail time for low-level offenses.
- Reduce the number of people held in immigration detention, juvenile detention, state and federal prison and jail. Prioritize the rapid release of people who are immunocompromised, elderly, sick or pregnant. Follow the recommended decarceral guidelines, including provisions for early release of persons who don’t hold safety risks to others, release of people held in immigration detention, and community welcome plans.
- Ensure access to preventive sanitation measures, health care and treatment. Suspend co-pays for prison medical visits. Ensure access to key cleaning supplies such as bleach, soap and sanitizer at no cost. Provide access to coronavirus testing. Ensure those who test positive get the treatment they need at hospitals or health care facilities. Solitary confinement is not a reasonable alternative.
- Help incarcerated people stay connected to loved ones. Provide free access to phone calls, video chats, messaging, postal mail and other means as in-person visits are increasingly cut off.
- Do not use this national emergency as an excuse to further criminalize communities of color.
The organization urged its members to send letters to their representatives and let justice and wisdom prevail.
Contact: Yvette Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org