TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Tallahassee Community Action Committee, Tallahassee Dream Defenders and Tallahassee Democratic Socialists of America will host a social media action to apply pressure to Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, State Attorney Jack Campbell and Public Defender Andy Thomas to take action to protect people incarcerated at the Leon County Detention Facility from the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of August 14th, 67 people incarcerated at the Leon County Detention Facility have tested positive for Covid-19. Contemporary jail designs are not conducive to CDC guidelines recommending social distancing, mask wearing, and constant sanitization. A recent Johns Hopkins study found that incarcerated people in jails and prisons are five times as likely to contract Covid-19 and three times as likely to die from it. As of April 2020, 871 people are incarcerated in LCDF, and around 70% of those were pre-trial. Some simply can’t afford bail. We cannot allow jail sentences and pre-trial detention at the Leon County Detention Facility to become de facto death sentences.
Since March, community organizations have been demanding the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney Jack Campbell take steps to A.) reduce the number of people housed at the jail and B.) establish stringent protocols to protect those still incarcerated. While around 300 people were released in March, Jack Campbell has allowed the jail to begin filling back up again by not adjusting bail conditions, and Sheriff Walt McNeil has provided little information on what his jail is doing to prevent spread and protect the lives of people incarcerated there.
TCAC is demanding that our elected officials:
1.Release all incarcerated people at LCDF, with priority given to people who:
Are aging or immunocompromised
Are eligible for bail
Have 90 days or less on their sentence
2. Set up re-entry programs for all people who are released from LCDF to support their quarantine and safe return into Leon County,
3. While there are still people incarcerated at the jail,
Continue to provide adequate, clean, and sanitized PPE masks for all incarcerated people in LCDF at all times, including in housing pods, and continue to provide PPE for staff,
Provide daily temperature checks for every person who is incarcerated in LCDF, as well as for staff,
Provide COVID-19 initial testing for all those incarcerated in and working at LCDF now, and continue with routine preventative testing every month,
Release public weekly COVID-19 treatment/care updates on the Leon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) website and host bi-weekly town hall events where the public and media can ask questions in response to these reports,
Release a primary report in the next two weeks demonstrating health oversight of Corizon Correctional Healthcare by LCSO, the City of Tallahassee, and Leon County government. This should include practices relating LCDF public health protocols for the following: 1) testing, 2) treatment, 3) mask distribution, 4) hand washing and disinfecting practices and regulations, 5) trash can regulations, 6) sanitization of laundry, surfaces and food trays, 7) primary access to healthcare providers, 8) daily screening and mask use protocols of staff and guards, and 9) public health training for incarcerated people and all LCDF staff.
4. Modify bail conditions to reduce the number of people coming into the jail.
WHO: Tallahassee Community Action Committee, Tallahassee Dream Defenders,
Tallahassee Democratic Socialists of America
WHEN: Monday, August 17th, 2020
WHERE: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram