Tennessee Freedom Caucus Asks Court for Immediate Action in Light of COVID-19
This week the Tennessee Freedom Caucus and 40 signatory organizations submitted a petition to the Tennessee Supreme Court asking that the court issue directives to release currently incarcerated people due to the added susceptibility in jails, prisons and detention centers to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unless a clear threat can be shown by release, identified groups for release include:
-individuals held on misdemeanor charges;
-individuals whose age leaves them particularly at risk;
-individuals held pretrial;
-children detained on delinquency charges;
-individuals held for (noncriminal) technical violations of parole or probation.
You can read the full petition HERE.
We likewise support the requests of this petition. The coronavirus pandemic presents an extreme threat to incarcerated people who are unable to take the recommended precautions of social distancing. Jails are not a secure environment, and Tennessee's overcrowded jails could become outbreak centers if meaningful preventative measures aren't taken.
If you want to show your support for these measures, you can reach out to Governor Bill Lee’s office, as well as Tennessee Department of Corrections Commissioner Tony Parker.
You can Contact Governor Lee’s office HERE, or by calling 615-741-2001.
You can Contact Commissioner Tony Parker’s office at TDOC.firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (615) 741-1000.
The Gamaliel Network calls on state and national leaders to decarcerate in light of growing pandemic
CHICAGO, Illinois—The Gamaliel Network will host a Facebook Live event on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. CT / 1:00 pm ET calling for immediate decarceration of vulnerable populations in our jails, prisons, and detention centers.
“With the rapid spread of COVID-19,” said Rev. Dr. John Welch, Chair of the Gamaliel Board of Directors, “No individual, community, or institution is invulnerable to its effects, and that includes the jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers in this country which are particularly vulnerable as a result of overcrowding, limited health care options and supplies, and the constant movement in and out of these facilities by corrections staff. It is essential that we take steps immediately to protect the most vulnerable among us—including those who are incarcerated—and limit this potentially historic pandemic.”
The Facebook Live event will include testimonies from impacted people, as well as a demand for action with immediate steps that key decision-makers can take to drastically reduce the incarcerated population and reduce the potential for wider spread of the coronavirus.
The event is open to the public. To join, go to the Gamaliel Network Facebook page: facebook.com/gamalielnetwork
Members of the media are asked to register at: https://forms.gle/tHjKwrbfsy1XGmUK8
“This is no time for business as usual,” said Welch. “We have a moral obligation to act immediately and aggressively to stop the spread of the virus and protect ALL of the members of our communities.”
Chattanoogans In Action for Love, Equality and Benevolence (CALEB() is an institutional coalition of faith-based, labor, and community groups working to build power to affect change in Chattanooga and Hamilton County, TN. CALEB is a Gamaliel affiliate.
Gamaliel is a faith-based, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and non-partisan grassroots organizing network located in 15 states and 44 communities whose mission is: a) to train ordinary people, primarily in low-income communities and communities of color, to effectively participate in the political, environmental, social, and economic decisions affecting their lives; and b) to build a diverse corps of grassroots leaders committed to transforming the systems and structures that perpetuate racial and economic inequity.
General Meeting this Thursday, March 12th!
CALEB's general meeting in March is devoted to the Economic Mobility Task Force and the focus on a public platform.
Our city was recently highlighted as being one of the best towns to live in if you make over $100,000 a year; more than double the city's area median income. For those who fall below it, the reality is less celebratory. With local wages continuing to stagnate, housing costs exploding and critical infrastructure needs not being met, how can Chattanooga make better public decisions towards more equitable development? What part can we play in making that happen?
What: CALEB General Meeting
When: 6:30 pm to 8:oo pm, Thursday, March 12th
Where: The Oak Street Center, First Centenary United Methodist Church, 433 Oak St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
CALEB is an institutional coalition of faith-based, labor, and community groups working to build power to affect change in Chattanooga, TN.