PETITION: Michigan COVID-10 Statewide Immediate Release of Vulnerable Incarcerated People.
Michigan Liberation and our friends & families demand that our elected officials in the position of power during the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic crisis protect vulnerable populations and prevent the spread of the virus due to overcrowded conditions in Michigan state prisons and jails. We recommend the following types of changes to be implemented by our Governor, legislature, sheriffs, prosecutors, and judges. We demand the immediate release from prison and jails for vulnerable populations, limiting arrests and warrants for low-level offenses so people don’t live in a higher state of fear, suspend criminal charges that can serve a more severe life-altering burden, and relief and care for our incarcerated loved ones. Please see our demands below:
***04/06/20****We have updated our demands post-executive order to include demanding release of all those eligible for parole, commutations of all those remaining in MDOC or jails that are sick, elderly, vulnerable, or youths in juvenile detention, or have under a year left in their sentence. We are demanding reentry assistance that guarantee housing and healthcare, stopping coordination around ICE and enforcement and detention, and to introduce and put an end to truth in sentencing. See letter below:
1. Immediate release of all incarcerated individuals who are sick, elderly, vulnerable, youths in juvenile detention, non-violent offenders, and those awaiting bond
2. The postponement of all fines & fees associated with any citations, violations, or convictions.
3. The guarantee of free calls for incarcerated individuals in county jails & prisons.
4. That health supplies are free or low cost and readily available for incarcerated individuals
5. No driving related arrests. Many will need to seek medical care, necessary supplies, and help vulnerable relatives and neighbors and we don't want them punished.
6. Long awaited Commutations -These should be addressed immediately by the Governor's office and Parole Board.`
7. The elimination of all LOPs- No incarcerated person should be prevented from access to communication, supplies, or care.
8. Continued Lifer hearings - process all existing applications expeditiously -no adjournments
9. Fees & Fines - amnesty should be given if possible. Mandatory fines should be waived. Courts can give credit for community service, previous jail stays, or based on accomodations for those on public assistance or disability income
10. The immediate stop of all driver’s license suspensions
11. The immediate stop of FOC warrants and arrests
12. The suspension of legal filing and appeal deadlines which keep individuals stuck in limbo while court is suspended.
13..Access to proper cleaning supplies and hygiene products for all incarcerated individuals.
14. A Governor's order that counties release people with an amendment to the Emergency Powers Act to include sheriffs.
Why is this important?
Covid-19 presents a threat to human life. We believe all human life is valuable, and are ensuring that those most at risk, like incarcerated individuals, are being granted the relief necessary to protect themselves and their families. The particularly vulnerable incarcerated community members and those currently being impacted by the system need support in this moment and not continued trauma. Action is crucially important now to avoid public health mishaps like the scabies outbreak at Huron Valley Prison in 2019. Now more than ever, we need transformative criminal justice action to limit the damage that the system can do during the pandemic outbreak.