Operation Exodus COVID-19 Mass Bailout Campaign is a campaign organized to secure the release of detainees who are serving nonviolent offenses, who are elderly, pregnant or facing health issues. The goal of Operation Exodus is to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID19 by making sure jail institutions can adequately implement social distancing. This will save the lives of the most at risk and vulnerable inside and outside of American jails.
Operation Exodus is presented by The Larry Hoover Project, an organization focused on prison reform and advocating for the release of civil rights leader Larry Hoover from solitary confinement, in which he has spent the last 25 years of his life.
COVID 19 has begun to spread rapidly in our jails and prisons. It is widely known that jails and prisons house large numbers of people with chronic diseases and complex medical needs who are more vulnerable to COVID19, and the best way to protect these people is to reduce overcrowding in correctional facilities.
Since the jail and prison populations have shown an unique vulnerability to COVID19, protecting them would improve outcomes for them, reduce the burden on the health care system, protect essential correctional staff from illness, and slow the spread of the disease.
The majority of people incarcerated in our jails are there because they are poor and cannot afford bail and can’t afford the bail amount set by a judge. The number of pretrial detainees per city are estimated to be around 70% of the jail population in each city.
Cash Bail practices have been normalized in our society, but they actually punish poverty. Money of those who are in jails are there because they cannot afford bail, not because they have been sentenced.
Operation Exodus will allow those who are too poor to bail out of jail an opportunity to avoid coming in contact with COVID19, or if they have, give them the ability to self-quarantine outside of the close confines of jail. This will allow for adequate social distancing and give those in our jails a fighting chance of protection against COVID19.
Once released, our community partners will support a 14-day quarantine of those released to make sure the virus isn’t spread in their communities.