Scholars Call on New York to Release Incarcerated People Vulnerable to COVID-19

April 23, 2020

Over 120 Columbia University scholars, researchers, and educators released an open letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to use his executive powers to immediately reduce the number of people incarcerated in state prisons and jails, emphasizing the need to release elderly and infirm people and other groups of readily releasable people to avoid the spread of COVID-19 to inmates and staff.

In urging swift action, the letter also highlights disproportionate risks faced by people of color, who are more likely to be incarcerated and also work as essential staff in correctional facilities.