Several inmates at the Lane County Jail are into their fifth week of hunger striking. They want better preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the release of pre-trial and medically vulnerable detainees.
Evan Coral is with Lane County Mutual Aid, a group supporting the inmates. He says advocates stand in solidarity with those seeking to change government policy.
"Lane County Mutual Aid and other organizations in Portland like Critical Resistance PDX will soon be holding more demonstrations and actions that are targeted at these larger institutions that have the ability to do something," says Coral. "Law officials have advocated for the release of thousands of people."
The jail has accepted basic mitigations like masks, cleaning procedures, and social distancing. But Coral says at a systemic level, incarcerated people will continue to be vulnerable to COVID as long as excessive bail and emergency orders to extend pre-trial detention exist.
Copyright KLCC, 2020.