Petition: Clean out prisons, free our people - before it's too late

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My name is Makayla Reynolds. I’m a proud 21-year-old Gamilaraay woman living on Bediagal land, Sydney.  

In 2018, my worst nightmare became reality. My brother Nathan died from an asthma attack in prison.  It took 40 minutes for medical help to arrive, despite the pleas and screams of the young men around him. But it was too late for my brother. 

My family is one of many left behind after a loved one has been killed in custody.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacts us all. The most at risk are people like my brother:  Aboriginal, chronically ill and imprisoned.  My brother, a proud Aboriginal man and loving dad with a known asthma condition couldn’t even survive the conditions of a minimum-security prison.

To prevent more deaths in custody, governments must immediately release all First Nations people and all Parole and bail authorities must show mercy. This is the only way we can protect the community and imprisoned people from COVID-19.

My family has been joined by First Nations families across Australia mourning the loss of loved ones who died in custody. Strong and united, we have a list of urgent demands for governments to prevent COVID-19 black deaths in custody. 

We are calling on Governments to #CleanOutPrisons by releasing First Nations people before it's too late.  Join us, please sign and share our petition.



Prisons are crowded, unsafe places, especially during a global pandemic.

Everyday there’s an influx of workers into prisons putting people at risk. The sick, elderly, mothers with babies inside, and kids are in grave danger. If prisons couldn’t cope with my brother's medical emergency back then, how on earth will they cope with COVID-19?

Overcrowded prisons cannot handle a lethal pandemic. Prison officers are not trained nurses and cannot provide the medical care our people with symptoms need.

Before a second wave hits, Australia must follow other countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Indonesia, Germany and the United States who have released thousands of imprisoned people.

Hundreds of our loved ones have been killed in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Even though we are still grieving, we are calling on governments to act now – we will not leave anyone behind.   

Join us, please sign and share our petition.

In solidarity – Makayla.

#CleanOutPrisons #FreeOurPeople  

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