Join us TOMORROW at 8pm for a virtual town hall: "We're Dying In Here": Incarceration & Coronavirus
According to The Marshall Project, as of April 29, at least 14,513 people in US prisons had tested positive for coronavirus. And most experts agree the number of infected is almost certainly significantly higher than the confirmed cases reported so far. As of April 29, 218 incarcerated individuals had died of the disease.
What's being done to protect those in custody of our nation's jails, prisons, and detention centers and those working within them? How has the current system failed them?Why isn't every state prioritizing decarceration right now? How can you get involved?
Join Defending Rights & Dissent on Tuesday, May 5 at 8pm (ET) for a virtual town hall event titled "We're Dying In Here: Incarceration & Coronavirus." Moderated by DRAD communications director Quentin Anthony Anderson, the town hall will feature Taryn Merkl (Senior Counsel, The Brennan Center), Alanah Odoms (Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana), and Rev. Alexis Anderson (Organizer for the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition). Decarceration has always been moral imperative. But in the age of the coronavirus, decarceration is now an urgent public health imperative.
This is an important conversation that you don't want to miss.
a leading civil rights attorney, is the first African American woman to
be named executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. She is committed
to the priorities of reducing mass incarceration and furthering racial
justice in Louisiana, as well as expanding the ACLU’s collaboration with
marginalized communities. Current initiatives under her leadership
include a comprehensive statewide assessment of Louisiana’s prolific
pretrial detainee population. Odoms previously served as the director of
the division of children and families and deputy general counsel of the
Louisiana Supreme Court. Odoms also worked as special counsel to
Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice, Bernette J. Johnson. Her work has
included advocacy to support the establishment of a truancy center in
Orleans Parish and the revision of the Louisiana Code of Criminal
Procedure Articles on post-conviction relief.
Taryn A. Merkl is
senior counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program and its Law
Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration initiative. Her
work focuses on building a smarter, stronger, and fairer criminal
justice system while reducing unnecessary incarceration and promoting
public safety. Merkl previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in
the Eastern District of New York for more than 16 years. She served as
deputy chief of the Criminal Division and as chief of the Civil Rights
and Organized Crime and Gangs sections. In Civil Rights, she supervised
all human trafficking and criminal civil rights cases in the district.
Rev. Alexis Anderson is
a proud member of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition,
the Louisianans for Prison Alternatives, the Louisiana Stop Solitary
Coalition and the Louisiana Coalition for Children’s Rights. Rev. Alexis
Anderson is a servant teacher, minister and the founder and Executive
Director of PREACH. Anderson serves on the Louisiana Mental Health
Advisory Board, the Committee to Support Healthcare Equity, the 19th JDC
Domestic Violence Speciality Court Planning Workgroup, the Justice and
Accountability Center of Louisiana Board and is the founder of the All
Paws on Deck Walk for Pet Cancer Awareness. An ordained minister in the
AME Church, she has served as an outreach minister in California
and Washington State and has pastored churches in Washington State and