(CelebrityAccess) – Meek Mill‘s criminal justice organization REFORM Alliance announced Thursday (March 19) a plan to help assist U.S. governors with preventing the spread of coronavirus throughout the US prison system.
Titled the S.A.F.E.R. plan, the policy recommendation directly targets at-risk communities. Given the fact that prisons and jails generate a close contact environment making it extremely difficult to abide by CDC- and WHO-recommended social distancing practices, incarcerated individuals and those who work inside the facilities are considered at-risk.
REFORM is also asking governors to suspend jail for technical violations/suspend probation office visits and payment of fines; adopt smart alternatives to incarceration; offer free medical visits and treatment, hand sanitizer, soap and protective gear to inmates; provide extra precautions for guards and staff; and release elderly and vulnerable to home confinement.
“As our country takes measures to protect against coronavirus, we can’t afford to forget about the millions of people under the control of our criminal justice system,” said Jessica Jackson, REFORM Alliance’s chief advocacy officer. “People in prisons, jails, or under community supervision are more at risk of contracting and spreading the virus, given their age, underlying health conditions, and close contact to each other. Protecting these individuals from coronavirus is not just a moral obligation, but necessary to preserve the health and safety of our communities.”
“In the midst of a viral epidemic, continuing to operate in this fashion is, to put it bluntly, insane,” added Arthur Rizer, director of criminal justice & civil liberties at R Street Institute. “Yet far too many local and state courts, jails, prisons, and probation and parole offices continue to proceed as if nothing has changed — even as schools, bars, restaurants, gyms and businesses shutter because of COVID-19. Our nationwide addiction to incarceration seems unbreakable, even when it puts us at risk of disease.”
The following organizations have endorsed the policy recommendation: The National Urban League, Justice Action Network and R Street Institute. REFORM has also rolled out a petition to make the mission of the plan more effective and call for participation amongst public officials.
REFORM was co-founded by Meek Mill, Jay-Z, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and more in 2019.