Legal Advocates Announce Launch of ‘Health is Justice’ Website to Support Decarceration Efforts During COVID-19 Pandemic 


November 30, 2020 

Ryan Karerat, The Bronx Defenders (

(NEW YORK, NY) – Today, The Bronx Defenders, along with partner advocacy organizations, announced the launch of the ‘Health is Justice’ Litigation Hub, a powerful tool that will allow lawyers, journalists, academics, and advocates to access vital information about the impact of COVID-19 on people incarcerated in jails and prisons.

The tool — a joint project from The Bronx Defenders, the UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, The Columbia Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change, and Zealous — provides organized analyses of hundreds of judicial decisions from federal and state courts regarding COVID-19 and people who are incarcerated.  These decisions are from a variety of practice areas, including federal immigration litigation, state criminal cases, federal habeas litigation, federal compassionate release requests, and other fields. Each decision is accompanied by a concise summary.

The ‘Health is Justice’ Litigation Hub aims to share resources among lawyers and advocates fighting for the release of incarcerated people in the face of an unprecedented and deadly virus that has already swept through jails and prisons across the country with devastating effect. The hub will also serve as a resource for journalists, academics, and others working to bring attention to this ongoing crisis. 

“Overpoliced Black and brown communities like those across the South Bronx have already borne the brunt of this devastating pandemic,” said Thomas Scott-Railton, Impact Litigation Fellow with The Bronx Defenders. “There is an urgent need to help people get out of jails and prisons where they’re at heightened risk of being exposed to this deadly virus, and we hope this tool can help support those efforts. Now, more than ever ever, we need to prioritize decarceration and public health.” 

The tool is intended to be a living, crowdsourced platform, and users are encouraged to submit decisions, briefings, expert declarations, and other litigation documents that can be added to the database. 

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