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Katal Connecticut Update- May 19, 2022

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The PROTECT Act Signed into Law

Barbara Fair from Stop Solitary CT. Photo Credit: Lisa Backus, CT News Junkie

On May 10, Governor Lamont signed the PROTECT Act into law. This long overdue reform stops extreme isolation and promotes effective alternatives to solitary confinement in Connecticut prisons. It brings Connecticut in compliance with the internationally accepted Nelson Mandela Rules which state that isolated confinement be used only as a last resort, for the shortest possible term, and never for more than fifteen consecutive days. This transformative reform also creates a Commission for Correctional Oversight made up of formerly incarcerated people, family members, experts in medicine, mental health, and corrections, and does much more to protect incarcerated people. To learn more about the PROTECT ACT, check out Stop Solitary CT’s fact sheet here and see the full bill language here

Our member Imani speaking at PROTECT Act Rally, March 2021. Photo Credit: YehYun Kim, CT Mirror

Congratulations to Stop Solitary CT and all the other organizations who helped make this historic win possible. Katal has long supported the PROTECT Act. Last year, Katal member Imani testified at the Connecticut legislature in support of the PROTECT Act: 

“Right now, the inside of prisons are built to break its incarcerated individuals in every way, especially psychologically. It is a place built to take your faith and leave you uninspired. Prisons warp and dehumanizes your natural way of interacting with people to the point you can’t even function in normal society… I know because a year ago today, I was in solitary confinement.” 

This law is a necessary step to restrict isolated confinement and create robust oversites to protect incarcerated people and save lives. After Governor Lamont vetoed the bill last year, it took steadfast community organizing and advocacy to get this law passed through the legislator again and signed into law this year. 

As Barbara Fair, the lead organizer of Stop Solitary CT rightfully said, this law is a “giant step toward restoring the humanity lost in Connecticut’s correctional system decades ago.”


June CT Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call

We’re two weeks away from our June CT Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call. This will be our last statewide call before summer. As usual, we’ll get an update from the capitol, including a summary of the legislative session as well as news on the elections. And we’ll hear from organizers and advocates working on reform campaigns, and discuss  what’s next for criminal justice reform in Connecticut. 

Register here to join us on Thursday, June 2 from 11:00 a.m. –  12:00 p.m.

If you have any questions about the statewide call or would like to be a presenter on the call, please contact Kenyatta at kenyatta@katalcenter.org.


We’re hiring – CT Apprentice Community Organizer

We’re hiring for an apprentice community organizer in Connecticut through our flagship training program BLOC: Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity. Click here to apply for the Connecticut Apprentice Community Organizer Position!

 Through our BLOC programs individuals learn:

  • Community organizing and harm reduction tools and strategies, and how to use them for systemic change;
  • How to build relationships that will increase participation in groups, coalitions, and campaigns; and
  • How to orient organizing and advocacy work toward undoing systemic racism and building movement.

We at Katal want to see more community organizing and more people using community organizing tools. Katal’s BLOC Apprenticeship creates entry-level opportunities for people looking to choose or change to a career as a community organizer. The Apprentice Community Organizer program is designed for people who want to learn the science and art of community organizing, and often have little to no community organizing experience. 

The Apprenticeship is designed particularly for developing new organizers who are people of color—especially Black and Brown women—as well as young people and those impacted by systemic racism, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and the consequences of a broken public safety net. Click here to learn more about the Apprentice Organizing Program. 

Please share this posting in your networks or with anyone you think may be interested. Details about the position, including salary range and how to apply, are here!


Katal Quotes of the Week

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

“In all our deeds, the proper value and respect for time determines success or failure.”   – Malcolm X

“Ella Baker was not interested in elite strategy sessions or flowery oratory. She was about the hard, unglamorous work of building relationships, mobilizing communities, developing campaigns and creating new organizers.” –Barbara Ransby, writing about Ms. Baker.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson


Sign up for the Katal New York Update

Interested to receive updates about our work in New York? Click here to sign up for the Katal New York Update!


Be safe as possible out there, and get vaccinated as soon as you can. If you want to get involved, learn more about our work, or just connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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

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