'They're Not Listening To Us': Advocacy Groups Protest Treatment Of Oklahoma Prisoners

Dec 11, 2020

Two prisoner advocacy groups are going to protest the treatment of incarcerated Oklahomans in front of the state Department of Corrections headquarters Friday afternoon.

Ignite Justice and the Oklahoma Prisons Accountability Committee are made up of the families and friends of Oklahoma prisoners.

Emily Barnes, co-founder of Ignite Justice, says their primary concern is prisoners’ safety during the pandemic.

"We email, we make phone calls all day long to DOC," Barnes said. "They’re not listening to us … they’re going to see us now."

Barnes wants the state to release elderly prisoners and people who are already close to their release dates to keep them safe from COVID-19.

She says the two groups will also be protesting prisoners’ food, living conditions and she says the prisons themselves are falling apart.

Since the pandemic began, more than 6,300 prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19. As of Dec. 10, 35 prisoners had died from the disease.

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