The following can be attributed to Sonia Kumar, Senior Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland:
“This is a hard-won victory for the families, public health experts, advocates, and law enforcement officials who have been urging the Governor to reduce the number of people in detention since the earliest days of COVID-19. The public health experts have been clear: Any plan to effectively contain COVID-19 must include significant reductions in the number of people behind bars — for their safety and the safety of staff, their families, and for all of us. We will be dealing with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future and we must be led by public health, not politics.
“We urge the Governor and other officials to include the many others who can safely be released from among the thousands of medically vulnerable Marylanders in our places of detention. Taking this additional step is both an important human rights issue and a racial justice issue, since we know that due to structural racism the overwhelming majority of Marylanders who are incarcerated are Black, during a pandemic that is clearly having a disproportionate impact on Black Americans.”
Learn more about the Petition of Extraordinary Writ re COVID-19 here.