We knew it would happen.

Laura Morowitz
Published: 05/03/2020

Those of us aware of the deplorable conditions at the Essex County Detention Center knew the moment we heard about COVID that it would be a special danger to the detainees held there. We knew the disease would not take into account that the detainees had not committed any crime, but would ravage them anyway. Diseases don’t really care--if conditions are miserable, crowded and unsanitary they do what you would expect. So we wrote letters and went to protests and made phone calls to the Essex County Freeholders and to Joe DiVincenzo begging for their release and warned that they would die. Nothing happened.

A second inmate died of COVID last week.

Last Monday Freeholder President Gill publicly stated that he will introduce a non-binding resolution to release all non-violent detainees. We are watching to see if this happens, and if it passes, or whether the Freeholders continue to abdicate their responsibilities, allowing innocent human beings to die while collecting millions from ICE to hold them against their will.

Freeholders: will you tell ICE you would like to use a tiny portion of those millions to provide these terrified detainees with a chance to escape certain illness and possible death?

You can do something to save lives. Do it.

Topics: Brendan GillCOVID-19Essex County, NJImmigrationICEJoe DiVincenzo