To slow the spread of COVID-19 some communities considered temporary changes in policing practices, criminal courts, jail systems, and community supervision. While some localities modestly reduced arrests and released some incarcerated individuals, many emergency decarceration efforts have fallen short and drug arrests have widely persisted. Common policing strategies may exacerbate the public health risks of the epidemic, the crisis could lead to increased use of surveillance technologies, and ending drug war policing and surveillance could enhance public health and safety.
This is the last in a series of seven discussions that DPA held on COVID-19 and drug policy. These discussions brought together advocates and allies in the justice reform movement to discuss how we can sustain progress, which obstacles still remain, and how we can use the current moment to be more aspirational with our policy agendas.
Moderator: Grey Gardner, Drug Policy Alliance