Adopted by the Delegates Assembly, 2020
Click here for the PDF version.

In the context of our criminal justice system, the novel coronavirus pandemic has exposed the very real and highly concerning overlap between public health and the way in which our incarceration system operates. Jails and prisons have been described as petri dishes for development and spread of the virus. While residents of those institutions are very much at risk, as demonstrated by the high percentages of infections in some prisons, the petri dish effect also clearly places the surrounding communities at equal or greater risk of infection. These risks have been widely publicized in media across the country. The ACLU, moreover, has released a study demonstrating catastrophic level effects unless significant population reduction is achieved in jails and prisons across the country.¹

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs believes that:

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