The ReThink Justice DC Coalition today sent a letter to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Charles Allen and Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton urging specific protective actions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus to justice-involved DC residents.
The letter calls for “immediate action to minimize the risk that the COVID-19 coronavirus presents to the lives of citizens who are arrested, and detained, in the DC Department of Corrections” and offers specific recommendations.
Recommendations include releasing all people serving misdemeanor sentences, ensuring DC DOC provides adequate safety equipment to protect its staff and residents, and identifying idle facilities that could provide temporary quarantine and housing for incarcerated individuals being released.
The letter further urges the District to immediately mobilize an empowered team with the intent of returning the Parole Board function to the District of Columbia within the 2021 Fiscal Year, citing the ReThink Justice report on local control of the parole function published in early March. [Downloads: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of report | FULL REPORT ]