CLEVELAND, Ohio – The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio announced Tuesday it has opened a “hotline” email - email@example.com - to report coronavirus-related problems in Ohio prisons, jails and youth detention centers.
ACLU chief lobbyist Gary Daniels said in a news release that the email should be used to notify the advocacy organization of problems, concerns and other useful information related to the coronavirus at the state 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,” the release states.
Incarceration can be tough on prisoners who are older or infirm in a “non-virus world,” Daniels said in an interview with cleveland.com, but their circumstances would become even more precarious if the coronavirus were to be introduced.
“We know it’s going to have a huge impact in our prisons and jails,” Daniels said.
The ACLU has two broad concerns: how to prevent or minimize the risk of the virus getting into the facilities and how correction officials should respond.
Those are related matters but they require different responses, Daniels said, “because you can’t just send prisoners home.”
The ACLU is probably most urgently concerned with jails, Daniels said, because many are crowded, don’t have overarching management to impose strategies across the state, and the population is more transient.