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Local COVID Response Coalition holds Noise Demo for incarcerated Rhode Islanders at ACI telling Gina Raimondo to #Knockitoff



We’re not asking for special treatment, but only for that which is fair and humane.

A coalition of directly-impacted groups including the Formerly Incarcerated Union, IWOC, AMOR, and more, is gathering at the ACI on Saturday, May 30th at 3:00pm to show solidarity with incarcerated Rhode Islanders being held in confinement at the Adult Correctional Institute in Cranston. While the rest of Rhode Islanders are seeing loosened restrictions and the end of the a stay-at-home order, people being held at the ACI are still experiencing conditions tantamount to torture.

They are locked in their cells for up to 23 hours a day with limited access to communication with their loved ones, the outdoors, or sufficient space for social distancing. As Correctional Officers and prison staff come in and out of the building each day, incarcerated people risk further exposure as Rhode Island continues the reopening process.

A collective of people inside John J Moran Medium Security Facility shared in response to Governor Raimondo’s press conference comment on April 1st that “people should find ways to get Fresh Air and Vitamin D.”

“That should also apply to us. We’re not asking for special treatment, but only for that which is fair and humane.”

The Noise Demonstration at the ACI focuses on the following demands:

  • 23+ hour lockdown must end immediately. Release to the public an updated plan to restore educational programming, visitation and socially distanced recreation time within state and federal prisons as the COVID-19 outbreak continues including use of already available video visitation technology.
  • Decarcerate the prison population. Target budgetary savings through decreased prison population, utilizing parole and early release, as well as broad criminal justice reforms that result in fewer Rhode Islanders sentenced to jail time. Including immediate implementation of geriatric parole for those over the age of 50.
  • End price gouging for commissary goods and provide a $3/day stipend for prisoners who are no longer able to work due to COVID-19 restrictions, comparable with the unemployment checks provided to Rhode Islanders who lost work with COVID-19 shutdowns.
  • Increase testing across the population, including asymptomatic prisoners, and continue to report results daily to the public.
  • Provide soap, undiluted CDC-recommended hand sanitizer, medical care, comprehensive sanitation and cleaning of facilities and other safety measures free of charge as recommended by the CDC for those who remain incarcerated.

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[From a press release]