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.
CALEB is an institutional coalition of faith-based, labor, and community groups working to build power to affect change in Chattanooga, TN.