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covid-19 in jails & prisons

The COVID-19 crisis is impacting us all, but one area of this crisis has remained hidden in plain sight: the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons across the state is a public health disaster “unfolding before our eyes.” Since the onset of the pandemic, groups including Katal have been organizing in person and online actions demanding Governors Lamont in CT and Hochul in NY take meaningful and urgent action to release as many incarcerated people as possible to save lives amid the COVID-19 public health crisis. As we are in the midst of the 2022 legislative session, elected officials must move swiftly to pass bills requiring preventive measures to release incarcerated individuals and build a comprehensive plan for pandemics like COVID-19 to save lives and keep ALL constituents safe. Without action, there will be more needless deaths. 

If you live in CT, TAKE ACTION NOW to demand Gov. Lamont address the health and safety of incarcerated people in the state. Use our tool to email and tweet Governor Ned Lamont to demand the urgent release of as many people as possible to stop the spread and impact of #COVID19, and save lives. We cannot leave people behind during this crisis. Join us in telling elected officials: Black lives matter. The time to decarcerate is NOW.

If you live in NY, TAKE ACTION NOW to demand Gov. Hochul address the health and safety of incarcerated people in the state. Use our tool to join us in telling elected officials #FreeThemNowNY – in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, free people from jails and prisons NOW to save lives.

For more information about our work tackling COVID behind bars, and to get involved with our #FreeThemNow Campaigns in CT or NY, contact:

#FreeThemNowCT: Director of Organizing Kenyatta Muzzanni, | 860.937.6094
#FreeThemNowNY: Community Organizer Melanie Dominguez,| 516.588.012

Additional Information

In the spring of 2020, Katal Center for Equity, Health, and JusticeCommunity Catalyst, and thought partners came together for 2 national calls held virtually via Zoom, to discuss some of the challenges that communities we support and work with were and are currently still facing. COVID-19 is not operating in silos, and like many times before, this is the time to support each other and mobilize around this crisis. COVID-19 has exacerbated inequities that we already knew existed, and systems can help vulnerable populations.

Learn more about these calls, here.