In a Twitter video posted Tuesday (April 14), Legend addressed Cuomo in a poignant PSA about COVID-19’s deadly impact on incarcerated individuals because “there’s no such thing as social distancing, and ensuring good hygiene is not an option.”
“Leaders must do everything possible to prevent incarcerated people and those who work in prisons from becoming ill and spreading. Gov. Cuomo, it’s time for action,” he continued in his plea. “You can make communities across New York safer and healthier by reducing the prison population.”
The 41-year-old artist suggested granting immediate clemency to those closer to their targeted release dates, those incarcerated for parole violations, and those vulnerable to the virus because of their age and/or pre-existing health conditions. Similarly, Meek Mill‘s REFORM Alliance criminal justice organization calls on local governors to adopt their S.A.F.E.R. Plan with key points like “Suspend jail for technical violations” and “Release elderly and vulnerable to home confinement.”
Gov. Cuomo has yet to comment on Legend’s message, but he recently was under fire for introducing a reversion of the state’s relatively new bail reform law that only went into effect Jan. 1, which would significantly increase the jail population in New York that’s already reached 43,000 people (not including the tens of thousands of workers).
Check out Legend’s call to action below.
Leaders must do everything possible to prevent incarcerated people and those who work in prisons from becoming ill and spreading #COVID19. @NYGovCuomo, it’s time for action. pic.twitter.com/xg0UBLYWrQ
— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 14, 2020