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katal newsletter – february 1, 2018

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In this issue:

Parole & Probation Reform Campaign Launched: #LessIsMoreNY

Katal’s Inaugural Connecticut Statewide Monthly Criminal Justice Reform Call

Marie Ndiaye, Katal’s New Senior Policy Manager


(From left: Jessica Jackson Sloan, Van Jones, Topeka K. Sam, Vinny Schiraldi, Donna Hylton, gabriel sayegh)

parole & probation reform campaign launched: #lessismoreny

On Monday, Katal joined with the Justice Lab at Columbia and #cut50 to launch two new reports, examining broken probation and parole practices as key drivers of mass incarceration, with minimal benefit to public safety or individual rehabilitation. One notable fact from one of the reports: today, there are nearly 700 people detained on Rikers Island for technical violations of parole — not for new arrests. To implement the recommendations of the reports in New York, Katal also launched a new campaign —  #LessIsMoreNY — which will focus on passing reform legislation to drive down jail and prison populations statewide. Check out news of the reports, featuring Katal, here.

The launch event included notable speakers like Van Jones, Donna Hylton, Topeka K. Sam, and the author of the two reports, Vincent Schiraldi.  They spoke about the tremendous toll that post release supervision takes on the lives of people across the country and in NY, and the burden that it places on an already broken criminal justice system. Our own Valdez Heron described the feeling of being on probation in the press release: “I feel as if I’m walking on glass on top of heated coals. Every step I make has to be methodically thought out and I must watch my every surrounding.” You can watch a video of the whole event here.

To get involved in the #LessIsMoreNY campaign, please contact Valdez Heron ( or 646.963.1839) or Marie Ndiaye ( or 646.535.1879).



katal’s inaugural connecticut statewide monthly criminal justice reform call

Also on Monday, Katal launched a monthly call to bring together criminal justice reformers from across the state of Connecticut. Nearly 60 reformers joined this call to begin to coordinate advocacy efforts and build support for demands in 2018. The goals of these regular monthly calls are to highlight issues, campaigns, and projects that groups are working on to advance statewide reform; identify ways to align, coordinate, and support each other in the work to end mass incarceration; and strengthen organizing and advocacy organizations in Connecticut.

To join these monthly calls, or for more information, please contact Melody Lee at


marie ndiaye, katal’s new senior policy manager

We are pleased to announce that this past December, we welcomed Marie Ndiaye, Senior Policy Manager, to Katal’s New York City office. Prior to joining the team, Marie spent five years as a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice. As a Public Defender, she represented over 2,000 indigent New Yorkers charged with misdemeanors and felonies in Manhattan’s Criminal Court. Armed with the important perspective of her former clients, she hopes to bring their experiences to the forefront of Katal’s criminal justice reform efforts. You can read more about Marie here.

Katal’s team is growing, and we’re on the move! You can check out our open job opportunities in New York and Connecticut here.

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