Right now, prisoners on Rikers Island and in Essex County, NJ jail are hunger striking for basic protection from and preventive measures against contracting COVID19. They should not have to go on hunger strike for these things to occur, but as usual, jail administrators refuse to prioritize prisoners’ health and well being. I fully support these prisoners and their demands. Moreover, most county prisoners are pretrial detainees, poor people who have not been found guilty of any crime. They should be immediately released from jail. Healthcare in jail is notoriously negligent. Prisoners are among the most vulnerable populations. Once inside, the virus will spread like wildfire. And neither Rikers Island or Essex County is truly prepared to deal with this pandemic. Release prisoners now!
I ask that everyone support these prisoners’ actions and amplify their voices and demands. Let the jail administrators know that we are fully behind the prisoners.