Ohioans from across the state protested outside the Marion Correctional Institution on Saturday, carrying signs that said “inmates have rights” and “not a death sentence.”
Hailing from Cleveland, Columbus, Wilmington, Xenia and elsewhere, they called on officials to do more to protect the rights and lives of incarcerated people, who are among the most at-risk for infection with the novel coronavirus, which can cause severe respiratory illness or death.
Eighteen Ohio prisoners had died from confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, as of Saturday, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, including four from Marion Correctional Institution.
“Inmates have rights. No matter what they’ve done, they don’t want to die here, and they don’t deserve to die,” said Lakiesha Smith, of Cleveland. “We just want them to send some help.”