Save Black Lives: Race, COVID-19 and Criminal Justice
The report shows that race-neutral responses to the pandemic within the criminal legal system are ineffective, and how they cause harm to Black communities.
Save Black Lives: A Call for Racially-responsive Strategies and Resources for the Black Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Black Public Defender Association and the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University issued “Save Black Lives: A Call for Racially-responsive Strategies and Resources for the Black Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a comprehensive report that details why public health responses and strategies to address COVID-19 must be centered around race and the criminal legal system.
Black people are being infected and dying from COVID-19 at alarming rates and they are also overrepresented in carceral systems that increase their risk of exposure to this deadly virus. The report shows that race-neutral responses to the pandemic within the criminal legal system are ineffective, and how they cause harm to Black communities.
Key findings and recommendations in the report:
- Race-neutral advocacy in criminal legal and public health systems is harmful to Black lives. The first reporting of COVID-19 was presented under the guise of underlying health conditions and age, which soon had race-specific realities. Similarly, much of the advocacy around protecting people in prison has been race-neutral, even though Black people are over represented in carceral systems, and once released, will likely return to communities that are COVID-19 hotspots.
- Black public defenders and Black researchers play a critical role in advancing equitable policy solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic within the criminal legal system. As members of a community impacted most severely by COVID-19 and incarceration, their voices are critical to developing culturally-responsive solutions, instead of blanket policies and research findings that fail to account for race or engage the Black community.