With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the Utah State Prison, it’s important we continue to push for mass releases of people incarcerated. As the growing number of cases overburden our hospitals and health care facilities, we need to step it up by taking precautionary measures and look out for each other. That has to include people who are locked away from our communities in the prison. After all, prisons and jails throughout the country are shown to be the hot spots of the spread of the virus.
People who haven’t had any experience with the prison tend to have a strong negative reaction with the idea of releasing people, which is due to a decadeslong fear-based campaign about who is incarcerated and what they are incarcerated for. The reality is that many of these people are supported and cared about, and would make valuable assets to our community.
Further, we must recognize that no one deserves a death sentence for prior choices they made. If we do not act quickly by reducing sentences and releasing those who are at risk of an outbreak, there will be needless deaths on our hands. We can all do better than this.
Brinley Froelich, Salt Lake City
Letter: Prisons are prone to becoming coronavirus hot spots /p>