Olympia activists are developing a program and set of demands to protect those who are being most affected by the Coronavirus and the connected economic hardships: the houseless, the elderly, inmates, low income workers and other low income people, undocumented immigrants, those who lose their jobs or have their hours cut back, and workers who come in contact with large numbers of people.
Note: This is also relevant for other States besides Washington.
What follows is the part I wrote with respect to incarcerated people in prisons, jails and detention centers.
by Peter Bohmer
March 14, 2020
In one of the Washington State Prisons, a correctional officer has tested positive for Coronavirus which increases the possibility of widespread sickness and contagion there. This is likely to occur in other jails, detention centers and prisons also.
We request that the Cities and Counties of Washington and their judges, sheriffs, police and Prosecuting Attorneys do the following: except for the most serious crimes-murder, kidnapping and rape- people who are arrested or going in front of judges, and prisoners awaiting trial get own recognizance (OR) to reduce the jail population. Prisoners on work release or with 90 days or less remaining on their sentence and those over 65 years old should also be released from Correctional Facilities; and those with more than 90 days remaining be judged on a case by case basis whether they should be released. That the highest quality of healthcare including preventive care with regards to the coronavirus be extended to all inmates and be followed in all City and County Correctional Facilities.
We request that the State of Washington release all State prisoners who have one year or less remaining on their sentence, or are over 65 years old, or those who have been convicted of non-violent crimes, and prisoners who by their behavior in prison demonstrate they have been rehabilitated and unlikely to commit a violent crime in the future. This should also be extended to State Juvenile Facilities. That the highest quality of healthcare including preventive care with regards to the coronavirus be extended to all inmates and be followed in all State Correctional facilities.
We request that the State of Washington and all locations where immigrant detention centers are located do all that they can to have all detainees who have not been convicted of rape, murder or kidnapping be immediately released; and that the highest quality of healthcare including preventive care with regards to the coronavirus be extended to all detainees and be followed in all immigrant detention facilities.
Rationale; To lower the incidence of Coronavirus to a very vulnerable population