Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Joins Justice for Prisoners Rally to Demand Humane Inmate Conditions in Delaware Prisons

Advocates gathered following Governor Carney’s refusal to meet with protestors for weeks despite double-digit COVID-19 deaths in the state’s correctional facilities

Protesters gather outside of Governor Carney's residence. (Photo: Business Wire)

DOVER, Del.--()--Following Governor Carney’s continued silence and refusal to meet with advocates for humane inmate conditions, dozens of protestors gathered outside of his Dover residence to condemn his negligent, disastrous response to COVID-19 in Delaware’s prisons, where prisoners have been sickened and killed by COVID-19 at the 5th highest rate in the nation.

The latest protest comes two weeks after Justice for Prisoners activists last gathered in Dover to demand a meeting with Governor Carney to address and correct the inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners in the state’s correctional facilities. The group has pledged to continue protesting until their demands are met.

Said Heather Morris, organizer of Justice for Prisoners, “Two weeks ago, Governor Carney evacuated his staff from their offices rather than actually addressing the suffering of our loved ones due to inhumane treatment in the facilities he runs. Since then, he has refused to meet us face-to-face, so we’re here today to hold him accountable. Under Governor Carney’s watch, 10 prisoners have died due to COVID-19 – it’s well past time for the Governor to listen to our demands and offer proper medical care to the inmates under his care. Enough is enough.”

Justice for Prisoners protesters will be joined by members of grassroots advocacy group Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) and Food Not Bombs Wilmington, alongside concerned Delaware residents and other friends and family of incarcerated individuals.

“Having spent time in these facilities, I know what it’s like for Delaware’s prisoners even in the best of times. In the middle of a global pandemic, though, the conditions would be downright horrifying,” said Maurice Plummer, a Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware activist. “I’m here because no human being deserves to have their lives discarded because of a mistake. It should be apparent that prisoners are humans who deserve adequate medical care and protective equipment, but Governor Carney’s actions show that he disagrees. That’s why we need to keep standing up and demanding those rights – silence is not an option.”

Said Chris Coffey, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware campaign manager, “It’s shameful that over five months into a pandemic that has ravaged prison populations across the country, we still have to protest for basic human rights to be granted in Delaware’s prisons. It’s even more shameful that Governor Carney’s response was to post police officers outside of his house rather than engaging in dialogue with peaceful protestors. Governor Carney’s COVID-19 response is a stark symbol of his blatant disregard for marginalized communities across the state. From police reform to judicial accountability to criminal justice, Governor Carney has shown time and time again that his main focus is protecting the status quo, not helping Delawareans in need. But that just means we’ll have to fight twice as hard to have our demands for proper care and safety met, and that’s what we plan to do.”

Justice for Prisoners are demanding universal testing and PPE for all guards, staff and inmates. They are asking the state to remove the co-pay inmates must pay to receive medical care and the protection of the right to shower and launder, both of which were claimed by inmates to have been denied. The groups calls for transparency in how the system is tracking prisoners as “recovered” from COVID in their reporting and accountability for retaliation from guards or prison staff on inmates that speak out regarding their poor treatment.


Chris Coffey,


Chris Coffey,