March 15, 2020
Last Friday, JusticeLA joined over 40 local and statewide advocacy groups in demanding that Los Angeles County takes immediate action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside the county jail system and among our most vulnerable communities.
On the heels of two historic victories – the passing of Measure R and the adoption of the Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration roadmap – community demands for decarceration have become ever more acute as COVID-19 spreads across Los Angeles County. LA County’s jails are the largest and among the most deadly in the country. Just last week, Raul Barreto, a beloved advocate and survivor of the youth probation system, lost his life in Men’s Central Jail. The overcrowded, unsanitary and violent conditions inside LA County jails cost human lives every year, and COVID-19 threatens to make these conditions even more deadly. While many of us in the free world are able to practice harm reduction measures to protect ourselves from this deadly virus, our community members caged inside the jails remain at the mercy of LA County leadership. The county must respond immediately and courageously to save lives. LA County should not have waited until a global pandemic threatened the lives of over 17,000 people in our jails in order to take decisive action. But now that the threat is at our doorstep, the county has no other choice but to expedite the release of our loved ones. For the sake of our family members and communities, we pray it is not too late.
Want to support community’s demands? Join our call to action by signing your name now!