ACLU Petitions for release of incarcerated individuals

Coronavirus Watch Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WEHT) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU) requests the Indiana Supreme Court to take immediate action regarding the safety of incarcerated individuals.

The ACLU notes the United States Constitution requires the safety for incarcerated people to be protected and this is a heightened needed during the current pandemic.

The ACLU is petitioning for this because they believe people in prisons and jails are highly vulnerable to outbreaks of contagious illnesses. Given the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the spread once this disease enters a jail or prison would be quick and potentially deadly. People who are incarcerated are housed in close quarters and are often in poor health. In addition, social distancing is impossible in Indiana’s jails and prisons.

Prior to this public health emergency, Indiana county jails were already facing an overcrowding crisis, with 77 percent of Indiana’s jails overcrowded or at capacity in 2018. Overcrowding in these facilities increases the public health risk for everyone.

Attorneys on the case include Kenneth J. Falk, Stevie J. Pactor, and Gavin M. Rose, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

This release is available here: https://www.aclu-in.org/en/press-releases/aclu-petitions-release-incarcerated-individuals-risk-because-covid-19-outbreak

The petition is available here: https://www.aclu-in.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/covid-petition-in-supreme-court.pdf

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(This story was originally published on March 30, 2020)

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