In this time of uncertainty, what we can be certain about is COVID-19’s potentially devastating impact for people who are incarcerated. Kansas’ prisons have operated at or above capacity for months, and public health experts agree that jails and prisons pose special risks.
Over the last few weeks, members of the Kansans for Smart Justice Coalition have called on Governor Kelly to take preventative action to depopulate our prisons in the time of COVID-19. Specifically, we are asking Gov. Kelly to immediately offer the option of release to individuals with less than a year left to serve as well as those who fall into CDC at-risk populations and would be up for parole within the next 2 years. This past Tuesday night, Governor Kelly made her first public statement regarding “exploring” release for some individuals.
Join us in calling and emailing Governor Kelly TODAY!
Phone Number: 785-296-3232. When you call, you’ll receive an automated message. Once given the option to choose, press 5 (five) to leave a voicemail for Gov. Kelly.
Sample script: "Hello! My name is _______________. I live in [insert town/county here]. I urge Governor Kelly to do the right thing during the COVID-19 pandemic and depopulate our prisons to lower the risk to incarcerated people and corrections staff. I encourage you to offer the option for release to anyone with less than a year to serve, for those who will be parole eligible within the next 2 years, and for those who are considered at-risk according to the CDC. Governor Kelly, our State needs you to take bold action immediately."
Click here to send an email to Governor Kelly.
Once you make your phone call and send your email, please report it here!
As you likely know, Kansas’s prisons have operated at or above capacity for months. You also likely know that crowds and confined spaces are especially conducive to transmission, and public health experts agree that jails and prisons pose special risks. Those risks extend not only to the incarcerated, but to correctional officers, medical professionals, and others working in these facilities.
Thank you for your willingness to take action for our fellow Kansans! If nothing else, this virus has clearly shown our interconnectedness. When we all do better, we all do better.
We are also actively planning ahead for how COVID-19 may impact access to voting in 2020. We highly recommend applying for a mail-in ballot if that is accessible to you. Check your registration and apply for a mail-in ballot for the August 4, 2020 Primary here.
Additionally, here is some key information regarding requesting a mail-in ballot for upcoming presidential primary elections:
•The Kansas Democratic Presidential Primary is on May 2, 2020. Voters who register as Democrats by March 9 should automatically receive an absentee ballot. Questions? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
•The Kansas Republican Presidential Primary has been cancelled.