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For Immediate Release

Contact

Alexander Bryden, abryden@fenton.com 

Press Release

Biden Has Moral Obligation to Protect Vulnerable Individuals Released From Prison During COVID-19

WASHINGTON -

Scott Roberts, Senior Director of Criminal Justice and Democracy Campaigns at Color Of Change, issued this statement following President Biden’s legal team’s announcement that all people released from prison during COVID must return:

“This week, the Biden administration’s legal team announced that it would return more than 4,000 elderly and immunocompromised individuals to prison at the end of the pandemic. Whenever the COVID state of emergency ends, the perpetual state of emergency in our jails, prisons, courts, and law enforcement practices will continue to harm millions of disproportionately Black people, their families, and their communities. This disputed interpretation of the law, first outlined in the Department of Justice memo in the final days of the Trump administration, would require those who are currently safely serving their sentences at home to return to the very locations deemed too risky for their health.

“It is another example of the differences between the rhetoric and policies of this administration. If we are truly to protect people from COVID and reform the criminal justice system, sending vulnerable people back to prisons from home confinement is simply not the way and indicates reluctance to reform the current system of mass incarceration.

“It’s time for President Biden to uphold his promises to the Black community and protect these people, many of whom are elders, from unjust and unnecessary incarceration. We urge President Biden to use his significant clemency powers to commute these sentences and allow the over 4,000 people in jeopardy to stay at home.”

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Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over one million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

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