Meredith Bushnell and Nikki Hasselbarth represented the Horowitz Family Foundation in its negotiations with Stanford University's School of Medicine to establish a $1,000,000 COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for California's Incarcerated. The Fund's goal is to slow and eventually stop the transmission of COVID-19 among the incarcerated population in California and to better understand this process so that other, similar settings will be able to benefit from this knowledge.
Over 116,000 people are currently incarcerated in California state prisons, not including those individuals currently held in local jails. Though they vary in size, the average prison cell is just 6 feet by 8 feet and, because of a long history of overcrowding, some cells are shared by multiple adults. Circumstances like these make social distancing and careful hygiene practices—prevention strategies that are so crucial in the fight against COVID-19—impossible inside California's prisons and jails. As a result, COVID-19 can quickly become a death sentence for those who are incarcerated.
About the Fund
With help from experts in the field, the Fund will:
- Work with medical teams inside the prisons and jails to map out the best strategy to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among inmates;
- Provide testing and advise on essential care and prevention strategies for incarcerated persons;
- Provide continued support and advice to the healthcare professionals working inside the prison system;
- Fund research to influence and improve policy responses.
The Horowitz Family Foundation has also recommended Shaka Senghor, a subject matter expert with over 30 years of criminal justice experience, as a consultant to help with implementation of the plan.
How You Can Support the Fund
The goal is to raise an additional $1 million by July 4, when our nation celebrates its independence, freedom, and life. Your donation, along with the grant from the Horowitz Family Foundation, will help Stanford provide much-needed services during this national crisis. Prison walls are not protective barriers against COVID-19. Please do not forget about these souls. Let’s not let a prison sentence become a death sentence.
Online: If you wish to make a gift online, visit https://medicalgiving.stanford.edu/. In the box "Special Instructions/Other Designations" write COVID-19 Incarcerated Assistance Fund.
Check/Wire/Stock Transfer: Or you can mail a check payable to "Stanford University" and send to: Stanford Medical Center Development, 485 Broadway 4th floor, Redwood City, CA 94063. Please note on the memo line of the check: COVID-19 Incarcerated Assistance Fund. Last, you may send your gift via wire or stock transfer.