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katal newsletter – february 15, 2018

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In this issue:

Katal in Albany for a Criminal Justice Reform Lobby Day

Podcast with Imani Brown, talking about the effort to #CLOSErikers


katal in albany for a criminal justice reform lobby day

Katal members and staff were back in Albany this week, joining allies from across the state to demand reform. We rallied, met with legislators, and our members and staff spoke at multiple press conferences.  

Momentum is building for criminal justice reform in New York. This week, the State Assembly Majority and Senate Democrats issued reform proposals related to pretrial practices including bail, speedy trial, and discovery. While their proposals have some significant (and good) differences from Governor Cuomo’s own proposals, all these leaders agree, as we do, that the state must end wealth and race-based disparities in New York’s criminal justice system.

Winning bail and speedy trial reform in Albany will help to shutter Rikers Island. Yesterday, in an important step forward, the Mayor and City Council announced they are  expediting the public review process necessary for the renovation and construction of smaller, borough-based facilities to replace the jails on Rikers Island. Following this announcement, the Cuomo Administration forcefully restated the call for a shorter timeline to close jails on Rikers Island. These developments are the direct result of sustained, focused pressure by community groups and advocates across the state.

Check out our statement on these developments and what else is needed to move forward here.



podcast with imani brown, talking about the effort to #closerikers

Last summer, Katal’s Organizing Coordinator Imani Brown was interviewed by the good folks at Interference Archive about the #CLOSErikers campaign. The podcast was posted just a few weeks ago, and while a lot has changed since the interview was conducted, the interview includes some important insights and lessons. As Imani noted in the interview, “People have made this false equivalency between punishment and safety, and so I think in the work that we’re doing, always, we’re trying to put the emphasis on health. We’re trying to put the emphasis on freedom.”

You can listen to the entire podcast interview here.

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