Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response to Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ decision to release vulnerable people from custody amid the COVID-19 crisis:

“The ACLU of Massachusetts applauds Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins for her leadership during the coronavirus pandemic. Our organization has called on public officials to immediately extend public health protections to people involved in the criminal legal system—and we are pleased that District Attorney Rollins heeded that call. It is essential that all government officials follow public health experts' recommendations to help ensure a response plan that protects the health, safety, and civil liberties of all people. In order to protect the welfare of an especially vulnerable population, all aspects of the criminal legal system—from policing and pretrial through sentencing, confinement, and release—must be modified to combat this public health crisis.”

Read the ACLU of Massachusetts letter to criminal legal system officials.

Read the ACLU of Massachusetts' COVID-19 response recommendations.