Rapper and activist Common, known for his longtime advocacy for criminal justice reform, has been urging for the release of prison and jail inmates who have mostly completed their sentences during the pandemic in fear of infection in small overcrowded spaces.
Earlier this month, Common went into quarantine concerned about the incarcerated people he met, who weren’t able to maintain social distancing and adopt stringent hygiene procedures to prevent COVID-19, during his visits to jails, prison, and juvenile detention centers across the nation.
As a result, he and his criminal justice reform organization, Imagine Justice, launched the #WeMatterToo campaign with advocacy and activist groups. Their goal is to bring attention to the threat the coronavirus poses to the millions of men, women, and youths that are imprisoned and correctional officers across the U.S.
Through the #WEMatterToo campaign to call for officials and those in power to prioritize for the immediate release of inmates that have served a large majority of their sentences, especially those with underlying health conditions that would put them at greater risk of severe infection. Even though numerous local and state prisons and jails have released thousands of people from correctional facilities, supporters of #WeMatterToo have also pushed for the government to pay for testing and housing for inmates that were being released.
The campaign has even released a video on multiple social media platforms that keep the names of facilities and inmates anonymous as they publicize their claims of being denied protective equipment and that the facilities aren’t enforcing social distancing or regular sanitized showers.
Common hopes with this campaign to bring more public awareness about the things going on inside our nation’s state and local correctional facilities and how they have an impact on society.
Watch the campaign video below:
Cory Nunnally is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Her love for writing stemmed from reading fiction when she was a kid. Cory enjoys writing short stories, poetry, and articles about mental health and celebrating local events.