Beyond the Bars 2020 - Call to Action - Support Emergency Clemency for Aging People in Prison

March 19, 2020

Join us in the first of several calls to action coming out of Beyond the Bars 2020.  First up is supporting the work of the Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) Campaign to get emergency clemencies granted in NYS prisons for those at serious risk of being harmed by COVID-19. 

Join us in the first of several calls to action coming out of Beyond the Bars 2020.  First up is supporting the work of the Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) Campaign to get emergency clemencies granted in NYS prisons for those at serious risk of being harmed by COVID-19. 

From our friends at RAPP: 

On Tuesday, a staff member at Sing Sing Correctional Facility was diagnosed with Coronavirus--the first documented case in the New York State prison system. This means elder New Yorkers in prison are now at serious risk of being harmed by the virus. Colleagues and I are asking you and others to call on the governor to grant #ClemencyNow and #FreeOurElders.

Please join us in these efforts by taking three actions this week:
 
1) Call Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390

Tell Governor Cuomo to release vulnerable people from prison and jail now. 

Phone script: Hi my name is [insert name] and Im calling on the governor to grant emergency clemencies to elders and other incarcerated New Yorkers vulnerable to the coronavirus.  I ask that the governor please take action before its too late.  

2) Sign and share this Color of Change petition calling on the governor to #FreeOurElders

3) Join our social media campaign:

We are asking everyone who has a twitter account or has the means to email or text us photos to do the following:

Take a picture of yourself holding a sign that says "Cuomo, #LetThemGo" on it. Write it big enough to show up well in a picture. Do not use selfie mode as it will turn the words in the picture backward. Here is information on how to take a timed, hands-free picture from your phone in non-selfie mode.
 
Tweet the picture with the caption: "Governor Cuomo: Release Elders & Other Incarcerated New Yorkers Vulnerable to COVID-19 @NYGovCuomo #ClemencyNow #FreeOurElders #LetThemGo." Make sure to tag Cuomo at @NYGovCuomo in the tweet and the picture.
 
If you have a photo of a loved one who is incarcerated, feel free to hold up their photo in the picture as well. We want to humanize the issue and put a face to the people we are asking to be released.
 
If you do not have a twitter account but still want to participate, take a photo of yourself holding the sign and send it to Melissa Tanis at mntanis89@gmail.com or text it to 918-344-1771. Melissa will tweet it from RAPP's account.

You can see a sample tweet with how the final product should look. If you have any questions please reach out to Melissa at the contact info above.