2020 Archive Material: Defense and Decarceration

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  • Prison Policy Initiative: Failing Grades: States’ Responses to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons
  • The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act was passed by the House of Representatives and is awaiting action in the Senate. If passed, HEROES would provide $500 million for each of the next two years for grants related to reducing the health crisis in state and local prisons and jails, including to support the right to counsel at the earliest possible stage to prevent unnecessary jail admissions.
  • State and local-level interventions have varied and the Marshall Project is hosting a site tracking how systems are responding. 
  • Fair and Just Prosecution: Joint Statement from Elected Prosecutors on COVID-19 and Addressing the Rights and Needs of Those in Custody – Progressive prosecutors call for jail and prison releases, including immigration detention, and access to hygiene and healthcare for people not released.




  • Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps VISTA - Public defender offices can apply to join the NLADA Defending Communities in Service, AmeriCorps VISTA program. VISTA members can expand data management capacities, cultivate new community partnerships, or support other needs that build on the ability to meet the needs of defender programs and their clients.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - While not a direct pandemic funding resource, this federal grant opportunity can support clients with substance use or mental illness. Clients in or out of jail who suffer with these challenges will be impacted by COVID-19 and in need of additional supports that can be provided through this grant. 

Public Health