Common’s #WeMatterToo Short Film Pushes For Early Jail Release

Common’s #WeMatterToo Short Film Pushes For Early Jail Releases Due To COVID-19

Rapper Common says that it’s a troubling time for inmates, because they are commonly overlooked, and he wants to change that. In a clip of the #WeMatterToo short film, fans hear stories about how inmates who are currently incarcerated, are being treated behind bars. Common posted a video on his Instagram page pushing for jail release during the COVID-19 pandemic under the #WeMatterToo campaign.

In an Instagram post he captioned the video:

#WeMatterToo Short Film. Let this time show us that we are all interconnected. We have to be there for our vulnerable communities including our people who are currently incarcerated. Our fates are tied together so we must be courageous and act now. I’m proud to launch #WeMatterToo today alongside 70+ organizations who have dedicated their time and energy to supporting our brothers and sisters currently in prisons, jails and detention centers around the country during this scary and uncertain time. Every single life matters. Take action today by clicking the link in my bio!”


In the short film you will hear the stories of various inmates detailing their experiences behind bars along with graphics.

“The guards are like ‘If you guys are that concerned about what’s going on, don’t come to jail.’ We made mistakes. We made mistakes to all bring us here. But what do you want us to do? Jail is already tough. Every sentence shouldn’t be a death sentence.”

In another testimonial an inmate expresses his fear of COVID-19 reaching jail, and “spreading like wildfire”:

“I got arrested January 30th, & just a few weeks later, the world started to change about this virus. At first I wasn’t thinking too much about it, and then the reality of the situation hit me was, if it comes in here, its going to spread like wildfire.”

Another inmate says that sometimes jail cells don’t even get cleaned:

“Everything’s confined. You have four man cells, six man cells. Our bunks are on top of each other and the cells are very small. The showers they either get cleaned once a day, or sometimes they dont get cleaned at all.”

Another goes on to say that there hasn’t been anything set in place in order for inmates to be 6 feet away from each other, to protect themselves from contracting the virus:

“Everybody’s still playing cards. The phones are not even 2 feet away from each other. So its not like, everybody’s really really separated. They don’t supply us w/ no gloves or anything. My cell-y he makes a soap, but, thats really the only way to stay clean.”

“The healthcare system is like the bottom of the barrel.” says an inmate.

One inmate shares a scary story about how long it takes for a medical request to be answered, even if you have expressed you feel sick:

“There was an inmate in here, she was complaining she was having a cough & having a fever. They tell us you have to fill out a medical request form. The medical request forms take about 1-2 weeks before they even answer us. By then were either sicker or it got better on its own.”

Another added they feel helpless:

“When you have officers who are not trained to treat you like human beings, automatically they put your health at risk. It makes me feel helpless. We can’t go to court and, you know, get an understanding of our cases.”

“Like people joke about it but in the back of our minds, we wonder, are they just gonna let us die or somethin’?”

What are your thoughts after watching Common’s short film and his push for the early release of some inmates? Let us know in the comments!

Authored by: Demi Lobo