Page last updated on May 11, 2020
As we face a public health emergency in the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACLU of Arizona understands that some measures, those grounded in science and public health, must be taken to protect the health, safety, and civil liberties of us all. As the government takes the necessary steps to ensure public health, it must also safeguard people’s due process, privacy, and equal protection rights. Below are some actions and recommendations the ACLU has issued in light of this public health crisis. We will continue to update this page.
Prisons and Jails
People in prisons, jails, and detention centers are especially vulnerable to coronavirus. They are often in close quarters, have little control over their daily interaction with others, and do not have the ability to take preventive measures to protect their health.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Doug Ducey must take immediate action to prevent the spread of the virus by allowing as many people as possible to come home to their families and communities and to ensure Prisons Director David Shinn is held accountable to take appropriate precautions inside.
Despite widespread calls from public health experts that the detained population must be drastically reduced in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, so far ICE has largely refused pressure to release people in its custody.
Arizona schools are closed for the remainder of the school year, but that does not allow schools to deny students an education. It is imperative that schools work with students, families and communities to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and continue to provide an education.
Racial and Economic Justice
Black people are dying of COVID-19 at disproportionate rates and people are at risk of losing their homes. Officials must act quickly to protect all people during this uncertain time.