Actor Jesse Williams Calls for Protection of Inmates from COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Friday, April 3, 2020) – As more and more jails are fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus among inmates and staff, there’s a renewed called to set some incarcerated persons free.  Actor and Activist Jesse Williams is adding his voice to the issue.  The Grey’s Anatomy Star took to Instagram this week to shed some light on the issue. He’s joining forces with Advancement Project National Office, a racial justice and civil rights organization.

Williams is calling on his fans to flood the offices of policy makers with phone calls in  Miami, Detroit, Baton Rouge, and St. Louis, and demand people in jail are released.

“I wanna suggest one thing that we could be thinking about and that we could be doing… the impact of this COVID-19 pandemic on our almost 700,000 brothers and sisters around this country locked away in local jails who don’t have access to consistent running water, or soap, or certainly hand sanitizer, can’t social distance, and don’t have adequate health care … [in] jails where people are locked up for traffic tickets and unpaid fines and petty misdemeanors but they don’t have the money to pay for their bail,” said Williams in an Instagram video posted Wednesday night.


Williams is throwing his support behind a growing coalition of advocates, organizations, and social influencers calling for decarceration in jails, prisons, and detention centers amidst the ongoing novel coronavirus global pandemic.

Advancement Project National Office, in a press release, said people are jailed in cramped quarters, cannot practice social distancing and don’t have regular access to soap or adequate healthcare. “Once inside this perfect breeding ground, the virus will rapidly spread, leading to countless illnesses and deaths both in and out of the facility.”

Williams urged people to visit freeandsafenow.org, a website that provides a call to action and  information on each jurisdiction where legal action is being explored.  The #FreeAndSafe campaign also includes petitions for communities with large populations in detention.