OHIO —Today, the ACLU of Ohio announces a new effort regarding COVID-19 and those incarcerated in Ohio’s prisons, jails, and youth detention centers.

“This new effort is a 'hotline' email - covid19@acluohio.org - and our intention is for the families and loved ones of those locked up to report problems, concerns, and other helpful information as it relates to COVID-19 in these facilities. Collecting this information will allow ACLU of Ohio staff to monitor developing trends, learn about systemic problems and shortfalls, and to hopefully provide advocacy and assistance in emergency situations," said ACLU of Ohio Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels.

Ohio’s incarcerated population is particularly vulnerable to the effects of this virus.  Many of those locked up are in poor physical health and have trouble accessing adequate medical services.  In addition, many are and may be confined in cramped and unhygienic conditions, particularly those in municipal and county jails. Ohio prisons have been above capacity for decades.

The ACLU of Ohio is also concerned about what happens when corrections staff and/or those incarcerated are infected with this virus and how that will impact operations.  For all these reasons and more, we encourage ongoing news coverage and reporting about the impact(s) COVID-19 has on Ohio’s incarcerated population.

The ACLU of Ohio will soon be announcing further efforts regarding COVID-19 as it relates to mass incarceration concerns and issues.