Responding to reports that a new Trump administration policy is forcing undocumented migrant parents to choose between family separation and indefinite detention in crowded facilities riven with COVID-19, a group of faith, law enforcement and policy leaders called Thursday for an immediate end to this “binary choice.”
Not only have New York authorities failed to live up to their promise of releasing vulnerable jail detainees during the coronavirus epidemic; they’re turning a blind eye to a steady increase in the newly incarcerated population, charges Columbia University’s Justice Lab.
During the pandemic, many advocates and people who have family members incarcerated have been making sure that elected officials hear their voices — and their car horns. A procession organized in New Jersey Thursday honored those who died behind bars.
As the Justice Department announced that federal prisons would release vulnerable, nonviolent inmates to home confinement to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the agency adopted a policy making it more difficult for inmates to qualify for release. The result has been that more than 98 percent of inmates remain in federal custody.
Voting 6 to 3, the Supreme Court refused to suspend a court order requiring federal authorities to identify for transfer Ohio inmates vulnerable to coronavirus, rejecting Trump administration claims that a federal judge had undermined the judgment of “expert prison administrators.”