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katal newsletter – november 29, 2018

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In this issue…

Katal in South Africa: #Mandela100

Justice Not Harm for sex workers in Hartford

Less is More in New York

katal in south africa: #mandela100

Katal is fighting to end mass incarceration and the drug war, which means, by necessity, we are also fighting to end poverty. And this weekend, we’ll be in South Africa to participate in the global movement against extreme poverty.

Nelson Mandela — the freedom fighter, former political prisoner, and first president of a free South Africa — would have turned 100 this year. He called for a global movement to end extreme poverty. This weekend, to mark his 100th birthday, the group Global Citizen is hosting #Mandela100, a major festival in in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can’t buy tickets; the only way to get tickets is to take action to end poverty.

Katal is proud to participate in #Mandela100. This morning, our Senior Justice Fellow for the Women & Girls Project, Donna Hylton, began her journey to South Africa. “Even if you’ve been in the darkest places, anything is possible,” Ms. Hylton remarked. “27 years in Bedford Hills Prison to the mother land, to Johannesburg.”

#Mandela100 will feature artists including: Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Eddie Vedder, Femi Kuti, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, Sho Madjozi, along with world leaders from government and the private sector, and more. Leaders will be making commitments to end extreme poverty and artists will be lifting up the fight.

Learn more about Global Citizen and #Mandela100 here, and be sure to check out our Twitter feed to follow Donna’s exciting journey in Johannesburg.

justice not harm for sex workers in hartford

Last week, Katal held one of our regular Justice Not Harm programs with our members in Hartford, Connecticut – this time putting together harm reduction kits for sex workers in the Hartford, CT area. We’ve been holding Justice Not Harm events regularly since last year. This one we focused on service to folks engaged in sex work in Hartford – we were motivated by the powerful, inspirational conversations held last month at the 12th National Harm Reduction Conference in New Orleans. There, current and former sex workers discussed what is needed in harm reduction and organizing work to connect and build with people engaged in sex work.

To take part in our next Justice Not Harm event, join the conversation on Facebook, and contact Kenyatta Thompson at 860. 937.6094 or at

less is more in new york

In New York, thousands of people are sent to jail and prison every year, not for any crime, but for technical violations of parole. This week our Senior Justice Fellow, Donna Hylton, presented testimony about this growing issue to the New York State Senate.

While overall jail populations were decreasing both in the city and statewide, between 2016 and 2017 the average daily population (ADP) of persons incarcerated in jails throughout NYS for technical parole violations increased by 10%. This was driven by New York City numbers – the ADP for technical violations in non-NYC jails increased by only 5%, whereas New York City jails experienced a 20% increase.

City and State leaders agree that Rikers Island should be closed and that more needs to be done to address technical violations of parole. The City could close another jail on Rikers if the state was not reincarcerating people on technical violations. It is time for real reform. Read this brief put together by Columbia Justice Lab that examines this issue in greater detail here, and stay tuned for updates on our #LessIsMoreNY campaign to end the cycle of reincarceration for technical parole violations.

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