Announcements, information and updates from the AG Alliance Members and Associates
March 25, 2020
Editor's Note to Our Members:

This week's special edition news roundup is dedicated to providing a high level summary of COVID-19 AG actions with a particular focus on criminal justice and corrections facilities.

Recently, the Fair and Just Prosecution nonprofit published a sign-on letter from 31 national prosecutors, all advocating to let more people out of prison to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The letter cites 10.6 million j ail admissions every year. Overcrowding in these environments is a petri dish for the transmission of disease, because social distancing is unworkable. The COVID-19 pandemic not only threatens the health and safety of inmates and prison staff, but also the very structure of our criminal justice system.

The AG Alliance extends a special thank you to our valued partners at the Council on State Governments & the CSG Justice Center for providing information on state legislature responses and related content. We hope you find the below information and resources useful in guiding your AGOs on best practices for counseling corrections agencies.
AG Resources for Counseling Corrections Agencies During COVID-19
The Council on State Governments (CSG) Justice Center

Federal Government

National Organizations

Additional Resources
Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic In Prisons
March 24, 2020

The Prison Policy Initiative is aggregating information about the criminal justice system's responses to COVID-19; state and local agencies are taking a number of steps to slow the spread of coronavirus:
  • Reducing jail admissions
  • Reducing incarceration and unnecessary face-to-face contact for people on parole and probation
  • Eliminating medical co-pays
  • Reducing the cost of phone and video calls

  • Professor Sharon Dolovich at the UCLA School of Law has shared a growing comprehensive spreadsheet including results from a state-by-state survey of changes in visitor policies, requests for population reduction, and actions taken to reduce the incarcerated population.
  • The Justice Management Institute has catalogued updates on criminal justice system responses to COVID-19 at the state and local levels, including changes being made by jails systems, law enforcement agencies, probation and parole systems, prosecutors, and public defenders.
  • The Appeal is tracking demands and local and state government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. This information is organized both geographically and chronologically and includes policies regarding the justice system, elections, healthcare and insurance, and paid sick leave.
  • Professor Aaron Littman at the UCLA School of Law has compiled a spreadsheet to help readers understand which local officials have the power to release people from jails. The information in the spreadsheet is state-specific.
California Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order on State Prisons and Juvenile Facilities in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak
March 24, 2020

To reduce the risks of COVID-19 in correctional settings, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order directing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary to temporarily halt the intake and/or transfer of inmates and youth into the state’s 35 prisons and four youth correctional facilities. Those inmates and youth will remain in county custody for the next 30 days. This period can be extended if needed. This action builds on the state and local correctional and public safety leaders’ longstanding partnership, to protect public health and safety in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. The emergency authority is granted to the Governor under the Emergency Services Act and to the CDCR Secretary under Cal Penal Code section 2900(b).
How the Coronavirus Outbreak is Affecting the US Criminal Justice System
ABC News
March 23, 2020

In the span of a single week, the U.S. criminal justice system endured unprecedented upheaval, as law enforcement officials around the country — from police to prosecutors, courts to corrections – enacted bold new initiatives to continue their work in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

This article offers a snapshot of las week's dramatic changes in the police force, federal law enforcement agencies, courts and corrections.
“I Want to See my Child.” Juvenile Lockups Cut Visits Over COVID-19 Fears
The Marshall Project
March 23, 2020

In an effort to slow the advance of coronavirus into jails and prisons—where it could spread like wildfire given these facilities' confined spaces, poor sanitation and often inadequate medical care—corrections agencies nationwide have been shutting down family visits, putting inmates who might have been exposed to the disease on lockdown and canceling educational and rehabilitative programs.
Prosecutors: COVID-19's Threat to Millions of Incarcerated People Needs to be Addressed Now
Salon - OpEd featuring Karl Racine, D.C. Attorney General
March 21, 2020

As our nation is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and beginning to recognize the potentially catastrophic public health risk posed by large concentrations of people in confined spaces, we are urging local, state and federal leaders to take action now to protect the 2.3 million people confined by local, state and federal authorities in America. The adults and children in our jails, prisons and immigration detention facilities live in crowded, often unsanitary conditions with inadequate medical care. An outbreak of the coronavirus within these dense populations presents a grave health risk far beyond that of cruise ships, malls or theaters. And all of us will suffer if we don't take steps immediately to address these concerns.
California Attorney General Becerra
  • Urges the Trump Administration to Fully Invoke the Defense Production Act and Provide Supplies to Combat COVID-19
  • CA Letter
  • Multi-State Letter
D.C. Attorney General Racine
  • And 33 AGs Urge Amazon, Craigslist, Ebay, Facebook, and Walmart to Crack Down on Online Price Gouging
  • The letters were co-led by the Attorneys General of Connecticut, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, and joined by the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico. 
Connecticut Attorney General Tong
Oklahoma Attorney General Hunter
Citing COVID-19, Trade Groups Ask California’s Attorney General To Delay Data Privacy Enforcement
March 19, 2020

As companies around the world deal with the COVID-19 crisis, dozens of trade organizations across multiple industries want California’s attorney general to delay enforcing the state's new data privacy law until 2021.

In a letter sent to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, influential marketing groups including the Association of National Advertisers, 4As, Interactive Advertising Bureau said they want “temporary forbearance” until Jan. 2, 2021, as marketers deal with the ongoing health and economic worries caused by the coronavirus. The letter, sent to Becerra’s office this week, was also co-signed by an array of other industries ranging from banking and real estate to insurance and even the toy industry.
Coronavirus Fever Checks, Facial recognition Implemented by Burger Chain
Fox Business
March 24, 2020

Fast-food chain CaliBurger is implementing technology and social distancing measures in its establishments such as entry screening, contactless payment and kitchen automation to try and fight the coronavirus spread, according to a new press release sent out by its parent company, Cali Group.
PRIVACY CONCERNS: Smartphone Data Reveal Which Americans Are Social Distancing (And Not)
The Washington Post
March 24, 2020

A company called Unacast that collects and analyzes phone GPS location data launched a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” that grades, county by county, which residents are changing behavior at the urging of health officials.

There’s no evidence that the U.S. government is using phones to enforce stay-at-home orders or track patients. But privacy is often the first civil right on the chopping block when public health and national security are at risk. Getting the balance right is hard. South Korea has used an app to track tens of thousands of quarantined people whose phone would alert authorities if they left home.

The Washington Post reported last week that the U.S. government is in talks with Facebook, Google and other tech companies about using anonymous location data to combat the coronavirus, including tracking whether people are keeping at safe distances from one another. The data wouldn’t be held in some federal database; it would be managed by industry and health officials, who could query it for research
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Resources for Consumers During COVID-19 Pandemic
March 24, 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) has recently released several resources to help consumers take steps to protect their finances during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to avoid financial scams and submit complaints to the Bureau.
Coronavirus Hits Native American Groups Already Struggling With Poor Health Care
The Wall Street Journal
March 22, 2020

The new coronavirus has found its way to Chilchinbeto, Ariz., a remote Navajo hamlet of about 500 in the high desert, a sign of the startling reach of infections in the U.S., and a worrisome harbinger for all Native American communities.
Ads for Face Masks Still Appear on Facebook Despite Company's Pledge to Ban Them
March 19, 2020

Advertisements for face masks continue to appear on Facebook (FB) almost two weeks after the company pledged to ban marketing for the medical gear hospitals are in dire need of.

That is according to research compiled by two consumer groups, the Coalition for a Safer Web and the Digital Citizens Alliance, who have found such advertisements showing up on Facebook in recent days. The Digital Citizens Alliance sent a letter to the Department of Justice with its findings.
Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) and the Credit and Collections Industry Introduce Hardship Provisions for Consumers After COVID-19
Receivables Management Association International (RMAI), the nonprofit trade association that represents more than 550 companies that purchase or support the purchase of performing and nonperforming receivables on the secondary market, announced new hardship provisions for consumers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. PRA Group, Inc., Encore Capital Group, Inc., Calvary Portfolio Services, LLC, Second Round, Plaza Services, The Bureaus, Inc., Razor Capital, Absolute Resolutions Corporation, Velocity Investments, Unifund, Crown Asset Management, Security Credit Services, FAM 360, and TrueAccord have agreed to support consumers using these terms.
CWAG Executive Committee
- Hector Balderas - Mark Brnovich -
- Wayne Stenehjem - Phil Weiser -

AG Alliance Co-Chairs
- Lawrence Wasden - Sean Reyes - Karl Racine -
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