The Last Prisoner Project (LPP), a group concerned with the human rights of incarcerated prisoners, is seeking to ensure that prisoners have the same rights as free individuals during the current outbreak, including fair access to health care.
The organization advocates for “clemency, expungement and reentry” to ensure that prisoners receive proper care and attention after years, and sometimes decades, of incarceration. It specifically targets those who were sent to prison because of low-level cannabis convictions.
In a recent press statement, the LPP brings attention to the plight of prisoners everywhere who don’t have access to free coronavirus tests, and don’t receive free calls home to check in with their families. The group sees this as a human rights violation and thinks something should be done to protect prisoner rights during this trying time. “Now is the time to come together as a community to support our most vulnerable populations,” the plea on their site explains. “If you are financially able please consider donating today to ensure that our constituents have the funds they need to access medical care and connections to loved ones.”
The group would also like to see prisoners who will get out of prison in the next six months released for home confinement now so they can be safe from groups in prison carrying the virus and the overcrowding that can happen. The organization also wants parole priority for patients over 65 and suspended copays. Additionally, the group has a special message about cannabis prisoners.
“RELEASE ALL CANNABIS PRISONERS,” the group’s statement reads as the last point to consider. “No one incarcerated for a victimless cannabis offense should continue to be incarcerated today. Now is the time to free our cannabis prisoners and further reduce the risk of outbreaks in correctional facilities.”
Many cannabis prisoners have already had cannabis-related charges dropped, and many past political leaders have been in favor of releasing prisoners held on cannabis charges. This pandemic could be what spurs more people on to want to support and free cannabis patients.