Across the United States, inmates and prison staff have been dealing with the spread of COVID-19 and receiving minimal attention from local governments. While releases for certain inmates are being granted, one famously being Tekashi 6ix9ine, others like Juelz Santana are petitioning for a similar release.
The “Mic Check” rapper’s wife Kimbella Vanderhee publicized a Change.org petition to have her spouse released to continue his sentencing under home confinement. Santana was sentenced to 27 months in prison for drugs and firearm violations.
Kimbella said Santana has been on lockdown for two weeks. “He has served 13 months at FCI Petersburg and should be allowed to serve the rest of his sentence on home confinement,” the petition’s statement reads. “BOP & Honorable Judge Chesler can make this happen for Laron. He is a good husband, father, son, brother, friend and has a positive media influence as a legendary rap artist.”
In 2018, Santana turned himself in to the authorities after a firearm and drugs were found in his luggage at Newark International Airport. He was brought up on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and other drug-related offenses.
Similar to 6ix9ine, Kimbella is petitioning for Santana to serve out the rest of his sentence on home confinement. Earlier this week, 6ix9ine was granted release due to the novel coronavirus’ spread and its affects on people with underlying health issues, like asthma which 6ix9ine has. Prison reform advocates have been calling on local governments to release those with non-criminal parole violations. Recently, New York City’s Rikers Island recorded its first inmate date from the COVID-19 virus. TIME reports 273 inmates at Rikers have tested positive.