Please find below news and information about our response and recommendations regarding the humane treatment of incarcerated people during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) epidemic.
Latest covid-19 news and updates
2 Mass. prisons mishandled COVID and neglected prisoners, report by disability advocates claims
WBURBy Deborah BeckerMarch 28, 2022 Some Massachusetts prisons fell short in handling the coronavirus pandemic and neglected…
Continue Reading 2 Mass. prisons mishandled COVID and neglected prisoners, report by disability advocates claims
Staffing shortages are hurting sick prisoners at Norfolk prison, advocates claim
GBHBy Sarah BetancourtJanuary 26, 2022 Attorneys and advocates for patients at a state prison’s critical stabilization unit,…
Continue Reading Staffing shortages are hurting sick prisoners at Norfolk prison, advocates claim
Mass. trial courts to decrease jurors in pool, prioritize certain cases amid COVID-19 surge
GBHDecember 30, 2021By Sarah Betancourt Amid surging coronavirus rates, Massachusetts’ trial court system will make changes to…
Continue Reading Mass. trial courts to decrease jurors in pool, prioritize certain cases amid COVID-19 surge
COVID-19 outbreak spreads to 53 at Dartmouth jail
Cases among inmates and staff jumped by 18 over weekend New Bedford lightNovember 15, 2021By Abigail Nehring…
Continue Reading COVID-19 outbreak spreads to 53 at Dartmouth jail
SJC urged to reduce prison population during COVID
SJC urged to reduce prison population during COVID DOC says 81% of inmates vaccinated; zero active cases…
Continue Reading SJC urged to reduce prison population during COVID
Department of Correction finally hires ombudsman
Department of Correction finally hires ombudsman Advocates criticize selection of UMass Medical School September 9, 2021Commonwealth MagazineBy Shira…
Continue Reading Department of Correction finally hires ombudsman
Important Documents and Links
Litigation: Read the latest on Foster, et al. v. Mici, et al. here.
Decarceration Letter: Read our January 14th letter to DOC Commissioner Mici, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Public Health Commissioner Bharel advocating for immediate action here.
Emergency Motion: On October 30, PLS filed an emergency motion to release incarcerated people to home confinement following outbreaks at several locations throughout the Commonwealth in recent weeks. Read the press release here.
March 11th Letter: Read our March 11th letter to state officials urging immediate action here.
Amicus Letter: On March 27, PLS filed an amicus curiae letter in support of the ACLU/MACDL lawsuit urging the immediate reduction of prison and jail populations in MA. Read our letter here and read filings from partner organizations and others here.
Letter in response to DOC & Sheriffs reporting on the distance between people in sleeping arrangements, dining and recreation (April 2): read here.
Motion to Intervene (March 30): Please read our motion to intervene in the case above in order to include a greater number of incarcerated people in the criteria for release here.
First Case in MA Prisons: Read our March 21st press release regarding the first case of COVID-19 here.
Coalition Letter: Read a March 16th letter signed in coalition with The Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition here.
Medical Parole Letter: Read our March 19th letter to Massachusetts district attorneys regarding expediting the release/medical parole of elderly and medically infirm incarcerated individuals here.
Phone Calls: Read our March 20th letter in coalition with the Keep Families Together Coalition urging officials to ensure maximum access to telephone and video conferencing here.
Immigrant Detainees: Read our March 20th letter to New England ICE/Public Safety Officials signed in coalition with over 60 other organizations here. Read a March 19th letter signed in coalition with 762 other organizations calling for immediate action from ICE here. Read our May 14th letter to public officials urging the release of immigrant detainees as part of a national #FreeThemAll day of action here. Read our May 28th letter to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and ICE raising concerns about the use of segregation for ICE detainees here.
Disability Discrimination: Read a March 26th letter sent to the Governor and other officials in partnership with the Center for Public Representation regarding the need for statewide guidelines preventing discriminatory allocation of life-saving medical care here.
News/Press: View news and media related to COVID-19 in prisons here, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Share Your Concerns: To send us information about your loved one in prison, please fill out this form. * Please note that submission of this form does not indicate that we are opening a new intake for this particular concern; rather, we are using this information to advocate system-wide for better protections.*
Partner Organizations: Many other organizations are also working to mobilize around the pandemic and may be helpful to you and your loved one. Please consider also contacting Families for Justice as Healing, the ACLU of MA, the Mass Bail Fund, Black & Pink, and others listed in the coalition letters above.
Legislation: Read the text of HD. 4963, “An Act Regarding Decarceration and COVID-19,” here. To view our fact sheet about the bill, please click here.
Contact Legislators: To contact your legislator, please click here.
Support Our Work: To support our work, please click here.
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