Louisville, KY - We are deeply saddened by the death of another person at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections on Sunday, May 28. This brings the toll to 14 lives lost in the custody of LMDC.
Community-based health care services are part of the answer to saving lives in LMDC. Greater transparency and accountability, with regard to the location and welfare of individuals taken into custody, is another part of the answer.
We call upon the city to release the RFP for the new healthcare contract. Contract with Louisville-based health organizations to provide detained persons full access to community-based health services for all the support any person may need after experiencing a police encounter, arrest, and detention. Provide high quality health care services onsite and around the clock, including: a doctor on site 24/7, both physical and mental assessments, community care treatment options, and monitoring to prevent suicide.
Funding and development for a new jail is not the solution to preventing more deaths. It’s not the building that kills people. A newer, larger facility will hold more people and kill more people in the same ways: through overcrowding; through lethal indifference to and neglect of health care needs; misuse of isolation; and prolonged, unnecessary punitive jail stays instead of lifegiving alternative services.
The Buddhist Justice Collective will host a vigil on Wednesday, May 31 at 5 pm on the southwest corner of Injustice Square opposite the LMDC building. Persons of all faiths and none are welcome to attend this vigil that will include both speakers and silence.
Community Stakeholders for Change at LMDC is a group of partner organizations and individuals pooling together resources and power in response to the recent rise in deaths at LMDC. Since November 2021, FOURTEEN of our incarcerated Community Members have died while in the care of LMDC. In December 2021, a small group of Community Stakeholders gathered to speak out against inhumane treatment and conditions at LMDC. We demand sustainable change from local city officials.
The Buddhist Justice Collective (BJC) is a partner organization with the Community Stakeholders for Change at LMDC, consisting of Louisville-area Buddhist and mindfulness practitioners (and friends) who believe that Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color especially suffer on account of White supremacy, economic exploitation and violence. BJC holds that these systemic factors are impermanent, and we can transform them. BJC offers activist support and conducts vigils for racial justice and public safety reform. All are welcome.