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Vigil planned for Louisiana’s women prisoners threatened by COVID

Organizers with VOTE invites the public to a prayer vigil, Saturday, May 16, at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, 6925 LA-74, in St Gabriel. In a news release ,they said, “Two incarcerated women have recently lost their lives to COVID-19. Louisianans need to know what’s happening inside these facilities, and our sisters need to know that WE have their backs.”

 “Women continue to be forgotten in the general discussion on mass incarceration. This has never been more evident than it is right now. Nearly every woman in one of the dormitories inside the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, located at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center,  has tested positive for the coronavirus. In response, formerly incarcerated women affiliated with Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) will hold a vigil to pray for the incarcerated women, as well as for those working inside the prison, and to bring attention to the urgent need for the State of Louisiana to take adequate actions to respond effectively to the public health crisis created by COVID-19 and the 2016 flood.

The state’s response to the 2016 flooding of LCIW was to place women in different facilities across the state, facilities that were not meant to house the volume of individuals that they currently hold. The COVID-19 crisis not only continues to escalate and infect more women but it is shedding light on the displacement of our women who are at Hunt, Jetson, Tallulah, Angola. Many more are scattered in local parish prisons and jails throughout the state (potentially 60% of the population).

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