Local Residents Raise Bail for People Incarcerated During Massive COVID Outbreak in Alamance County Jail
Local members of Down Home North Carolina are securing the release of people with low bails being held in the Alamance County Jail, which has reported what may be the largest outbreak in a North Carolina detention center. NCDHHS reports 123 cases in the jail in Graham.
“No one should be incarcerated simply because they can’t afford to pay bail,” says Lisa Rowden, a Down Home Alamance member who works with a team monitoring the courts. “These are people who have not been convicted of a crime. Their health and safety should not be at risk simply because they are poor.”
As news broke about the massive COVID outbreak, Down Home launched the Alamance Mass Bail Out campaign to raise funds and quickly secure the release of people charged with low-level offenses. Rowden and other Down Home members will be securing the release of three more individuals on Thursday, September 9th.
“Communicating with folks inside the jail is difficult,” says Rowden. “But the people who we have been able to bail out are describing a situation inside the jails that falls far short of the safety measures we had been assured were in place.” Down Home members have been raising concerns about the conditions inside jails since the pandemic broke given that incarcerated people are not afforded the ability to protect themselves.
“This outbreak is a result of the irresponsible Sheriff and County Commission. Their constant derogatory behavior has resulted in many now being subjected to what is the most harmful pandemics of our time,” says Tabatha Davis of Alamance County. “As a family member to an inmate, I am seeking accountability from the Sheriff, the County Commission, and those that work with the inmates of Alamance County. We demand that inmates be treated as basic human beings instead of a pack of wild dogs. What is happening, right now, is a basic human rights violation and should be treated accordingly.”