ACLU Calls For Immediate Release Of Vulnerable Populations In Detention
The ACLU of Arizona is asking state and county officials to take steps to reduce the number of people in jails and prisons as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.
In a demand letter sent to the governor, attorney general, county sheriffs and county attorneys, the ACLU said officials should heed public health experts’ advice and immediately release individuals in detention who are at high risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
ACLU staff attorney Jared Keenan said Gov. Doug Ducey has the ability to make the most significant impact on in the state’s incarcerated population.
“With his power of clemency and commutation he can basically get large numbers of people out of prison quickly,” Keenan said.
The letter also asks county attorneys to reduce their requests for pretrial detention and sentences that require incarceration. For the safety of those who can’t be released, the ACLU is requesting County Sheriffs implement procedures for those who become ill in their jails.