DOVER, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) announced the latest in its series of print ads in the Delaware News Journal to condemn Delaware’s corrupt status quo upheld by Governor John Carney and the rest of the Delaware political establishment as protests continue following a devastating COVID-19 outbreak at Sussex County Correctional Institution (SCI).
The ad reads, in part: “Black Lives Matter. But not to Delaware’s Elite,” and goes on to note that “In Governor John Carney’s Delaware, Black people are incarcerated at a rate of nearly 5:1 compared to their white counterparts, and prisoners are sickened and killed by COVID-19 at the 5th highest rate in the nation.”
Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, “Governor Carney continues to pay lip service to the demands for racial justice made by Black Lives Matter protesters while incarcerating Black Delawareans at an obscene rate and refusing to protect inmates from the deadly coronavirus, which is now spreading like wildfire in Delaware’s prisons.”
“The Governor has ignored our calls, emails and efforts to speak with him regarding the inhumane treatment of inmates in Delaware’s prisons,” said Heather Morris, Justice for Prisoners organizer. “Giving ‘no comment’ no longer works when you’re treating people as less than human in the middle of a pandemic. We are going to his office to demand to be heard. Many prisoners and staff are scared of retribution, so it’s up to us to speak out for them. It’s time to expose the terrible conditions in Delaware prisons and treat inmates with the respect and dignity every human deserves. It’s time for Governor Carney to step in and lead, not hide.”
The spike in cases at SCI comes after Governor Carney and Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) Commissioner Claire DeMatteis repeatedly declined CPBD’s offer of free facemasks and hand sanitizer for each inmate in the entire Delaware correctional system. Governor Carney and Commissioner DeMatteis have faced fierce criticism from CPBD and the families of prisoners, many of whom have taken to the streets in protest to demand safer conditions for Delaware’s vulnerable inmates.
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware members will join local activists on Friday, August 7th for a Justice for Prisoners protest outside Governor John Carney’s office in Delaware at 3pm. The group has been working to bring voice to the treatment of inmates in Delaware prisons. After an unsuccessful meeting with DOC’s Claire DeMatteis, the group will confront the Governor on the state’s harsh treatment of prisoners and his lack of meaningful efforts to protect inmates from COVID-19.
Added Chris Coffey, CPBD Campaign Manager, “For months, Carney has played politics with prisoners’ lives by refusing to accept our offer of vital protective gear for inmates because we have been critical of his colossal mistakes in handling the Covid-19 crisis, along with his hollow support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“And we know why. Delaware’s elite, from lawyers at firms like Skadden Arps, to politicians and corporate executives, are all hyper-focused on maintaining their power and privilege rather than fighting for changes that would put an end to the systemic inequality, poverty, and over-incarceration of Black Delawareans. Governor Carney may not be listening but the people of Delaware know that now is the time to forge a new way forward for the First State, and we’re not going away until we achieve it.”
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the unprecedented forced sale of TransPerfect. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.