Men and women behind bars are particularly vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic, so Rapper E-40 stepped up to help mitigate the risks by donating 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to California prisons.
Thursday, the rapper, who is a Bay Area native, made the big announcement on Instagram by posting a video showing the sanitizer being produced and packaged for delivery to the prisons.
E-40, who is an investor in several wine and spirits brands, donates 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to Lompoc & San Quentin State Prison,” read the straight forward caption accompanying the clip.
After learning of a COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin and Lompoc prisons in California, the rap icon said he wanted to do his part.
“As you know, hand sanitizer is made with alcohol, and I sell dope beverages so I know many distillers all over the country,” the rapper told ABC7 News. “I said let me get 1,000 gallons and send them to San Quentin and Lompoc. I hope that it makes a good impact.”
Fellow Bay Area native, NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, who last played with the Seattle Seahawks, also made a donation to the Santa Rita jail.
Back in March, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the mayor’s office of criminal justice was working to protect those in custody who are at high risk of becoming infected after a prisoner at Rikers Island tested positive for COVID-19. Several states have also announced the early release of inmates, as well as an intentional, reduction in new arrests to curb the spread of the virus.
According to Buzzfeed, in Los Angeles County, the prison population shrunk from 17,076 inmates to 16,459 in about two weeks. Their report notes in the Los Angeles County Jails, dozens of inmates are in quarantine across three locations after showing symptoms of COVID-19.
As high-profile prisoners like Tekashi 6ix9ine continue to get granted early release due to health concerns, more and more political leaders and advocates are calling for the same precautionary measures when it comes to non-violent offenders.
At the forefront of this fight is the Last Prisoner Project—a nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing inmates convicted of nonviolent marijuana crimes— which has recently launched an initiative that it believes will help slow the spread of COVID-19 behind bars.
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