Meek Mill's criminal justice organization REFORM Alliance has just unveiled policy recommendation to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in prisons. Co-founded by Meek, JAY-Z, Robert Kraft, and Michael Rubin among others, REFORM hopes to assist U.S. governors on preventing the virus spreading behind bars.
Known as the S.A.F.E.R. Plan, the policy recommendation was penned with at-risk communities in mind. Incarcerated individuals are more susceptible to contracting the virus, REFORM noted, advising governors to suspend technical violation, probation visits, and fines and fees. They also suggested governors adopt alternatives to incarceration, offer free medical visits and treatment alongside providing protective gear, encourage extra precautions for prison staff, and release the 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 REFORM Alliance's chief advocacy officer Jessica Jackson. “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."
Organizations that have endorsed the plan include the National Urban League, Justice Action Network, the American Conservative Union, and R Street Institute.
To coincide with the plan, REFORM has launched an online petition to further encourage public officials sufficiently protect people behind bars. "Failing to act could expose tens of thousands of people in prisons and jails across the country to the virus," reads the petition. "Given the crowded nature of our correctional institutions, an outbreak is likely and would not only endanger people in prisons but also correctional staff and outside communities." REFORM has also set up a page for people to contact the governor of their state to address the issue. You can visit the page here.