“Responding to the public health emergency and ensuring the safety of the American people is rightly the primary focus of the federal government at this moment. We write to highlight the urgent need to protect the population that is among those at greatest risk from the pandemic: individuals who are or have been inside prisons and jails – as well as the communities to which they return. We also write to request that Congress provide funding for state and local public defense providers, who are the only system actors whose primary responsibility is the protection of the rights of low-income people in the criminal justice system.”