All over the country, COVID-19 has been causing hardship and heartache for months now. One community that has been in the shadows of the whole pandemic is family members of those who are incarcerated.

Almost everyone in the country has a family member or knows someone who is behind bars. The coronavirus is spreading throughout prisons just like everywhere else, and family members are unable to visit inmates. Family members are making their voices heard in New York by bringing motorcades to the Capital Region.

An advocacy group, called Alliance of Families for Justice, is bringing family members of incarcerated New Yorkers to Albany to ask Governor Cuomo to address the deteriorating conditions inside the prison system as well as the inability for many family members to visit their loved ones.

According to News 10, The peaceful protest was scheduled this afternoon from noon until 2 p.m. The caravan started at the Crossgates Mall and was scheduled to arrive at the State Capital between 1230 and 1 o’clock p.m.

Protesters are calling on Governor Cuomo and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to address the issues of visitation as well as the poor prison conditions. Their complaints include the prisons having a lack of personal protective equipment, no access to medical personnel, no social distancing, as well as a lack of nutritious meals. The advocacy group claims that DOCCS is using the pandemic to “implement long-term, draconian changes rather than prioritizing safety, well-being, or mental health.”

Family members of those who are behind bars are no longer allowing themselves to remain in the shadows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prisoners are still people, and it’s good to see their family members speaking up for them.

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