Katal Connecticut Update- February 16, 2023

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State Board of Education Must Reject Application to Re-Open Youth Prison as a Charter School

Yesterday, the State Board of Education conducted a public hearing on the application for the establishment of a charter for Capital Preparatory Middletown Charter School to be opened at the now-closed Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS). This process has been riddled with secrecy and lack of community involvement as residents in Middletown have not had access to this application ahead of tonight’s public hearing.

In response to the proposal, we released the following statement from our co-executive director Lorenzo Jones: 

“Tonight, Capital Preparatory Middletown Charter School proposed to re-open a closed youth prison in Connecticut in order to create a new school. The prison — the Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS) – was closed in 2018. It has a documented and notorious history of neglect and abuse of young people, ranging from the use of chemical agents, excessive restraint, and solitary confinement. To suggest that it be re-opened to create a charter school is reprehensible. Connecticut should be closing MORE prisons, not re-opening them for schools. CJTS is an inappropriate and unacceptable place for human beings, especially children. CJTS must be permanently destroyed – not held in reserve to re-open. We call on the State Board of Education to reject this application to re-open CJTS as a school. 

Instead, Governor Lamont must continue to close prisons and dismantle currently closed prisons – including the Connecticut Juvenile Training School – so they cannot be used again and move to cut correctional populations statewide, shut down more prisons and jails, and invest in true public safety: housing, healthcare, education, and jobs.”

To get involved in our #CutShutInvestCT campaign, please email Maribel at maribel@katalcenter.org


This Saturday 2/18: BLOC Training & Growing Power Workshop Series

This Saturday, February 18th at 12:30 pm we’re hosting training to Build Leadership and Organizing Capacity (BLOC) at Cultivating Justice’s Growing Power workshop series at Wesleyan University. The session is intended for anyone interested in learning how to be more effective at making social change in your community. Register for the BLOC training here. 

The Growing Power workshop series is a day full of free community workshops starting at 10 am–led by organizations or businesses invested in our mission–that center on agriculture and gardening, animal husbandry, and fishing. The event is open to all, but we’re specifically advertising to families of color, incarceration-impacted families, and low-income families. Click here to learn more about the Growing Power workshop series and you can register for the full day here

For more information about the BLOC training or the Growing Power workshop series, please reach out to Alycia Gay at aylcia@katalcenter.org


Honoring Lorenzo Jones for Black History Month

Thank you to Social Venture Partners Connecticut for honoring our co-founder and co-executive director, Lorenzo Jones, and the incredible contributions he has made, is making, and will continue to make for Black history. We appreciate your support. 


Katal Quotes of the Week

These are some of the quotes we’re thinking about this week. 

“Of course, laws will not eliminate prejudice from the hearts of human beings. But that is no reason to allow prejudice to continue to be enshrined in our laws – to perpetuate injustice through inaction.” — Shirley Chisholm

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” –James Baldwin


For printing and distribution, download the Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

Katal works to strengthen the people, policies, institutions, and movements that advance equity, health, and justice. Join us: web, Twitter, Facebook! Email: info@katalcenter.org Phone: 646.875.8822.

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