Supporting the Release of Prisoners of ICE

Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 05/22/2020

Essex County Freeholder President Brendan Gill committed to asking for the release of ICE Detainees currently held at the Essex County Correctional Facility. For years, Essex County has been paid to hold ICE detainees, which advocates have consistently opposed. The ICE Detainees who are held on civil, not criminal, charges live in group dorms with bunk beds lining the walls. An unacceptably risky environment given the pandemic.

Before ICE blocked ongoing reporting by the County, 70% of ICE Detainees tested had COVID-19 antibodies. Hundreds of people who have committed no crime have been infected. Guards, staff, and their families have also been needlessly exposed. People will likely die.

These are the Freeholders prisoners, our prisoners, your prisonsers, and my prisoners. During a pandemic, we must reduce the population within the facility, by releasing both ICE and County prisoners. After the pandemic, we must refuse to go back. We must commit to helping communities, supporting and funding them sooner rather than over-incarcerating residents later. We need to build community not tear it apart and incarcerate the pieces. Essex residents, call your Freeholders and ask them to support Freeholder Gill's resolution to release the ICE prisoners. It will save lives

Topics: Brendan GillCOVID-19Criminal Justice ReformEssex County, NJICEImmigrationJail Reform