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katal newsletter – september 20, 2018

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In this issue…

Katal in Florida: The 2018 FICPFM National Gathering

Facing the Facts About Fentanyl

The Next Steps for Closing Rikers and Transforming NYC

katal in florida: the 2018 ficpfm national gathering


(L-R) Valdez Heron, Donna Hylton, and Jarred Williams at the FICPFM Conference in Orlando, FL.


This past weekend, a few members of the Katal team had the opportunity to be in attendance at The Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement (FICPFM) Conference. The Conference is a biennial event that provides a space for formerly incarcerated persons to network and strategize about the best path forward towards a more equitable justice system. Days are spent in spirited debate by people with shared lived experiences working towards a common goal. 

“What an incredible experience! I’ve attended a wide variety of conferences over the years, but have never experienced an atmosphere quite like the FICPFM Conference,” recalls OSF Fellow Jarred Williams. “This conference feels like a family reunion. At other conferences, when I meet attendees that haven’t had the misfortune of being personally impacted by the criminal justice system, I often feel that they view me strangely. This is not the case at the conference in Orlando. Now that it [the conference] has passed, I find myself yearning for the next one. Unfortunately, that won’t be for another two years. If I had one critique, it would be that this conference needs to occur every year. As formerly incarcerated people we need a family-like conference space; a space where we are not observed as an anomaly.”

To learn more about FICPFM, visit their website here.


facing the facts about fentanyl



As more and more stories are appearing in reference to the overdose crisis in Connecticut and New York, there are not nearly as many media stories attempting to address the misinformation being spread to the masses about fentanyl. But maybe this is changing — this week, the Albany Times Union published a story addresing the many false claims being made by law enforcement and emergency medical personnel about fentanyl. Katal was quoted in the story: “By causing fear and panic among such key partners in responding to the overdose crisis, we’re putting people’s lives at further risk,” said Keith Brown, our Director of Health and Harm Reduction. Special thanks to Bethany Bump for featuring us in her article about the truths regarding Fentanyl. 

Click here to read the full article.

the next steps for closing rikers and transforming nyc



New York City plans on closing Rikers Island. The Mayor has issued a plan, and now the City is holding hearings about the local, borough-based jail facilities that will exist after Rikers is shut down. You can read more about the City’s plans here, and see the actual borough-based facilities proposals here

We at Katal will be attending every hearing and we invite you to join us to learn about the City’s plans, help to shape the community response, and ensure that we’re on the path the ending mass incarceration in NYC and beyond. You can join us at one of our preparation meetings or meet up with us at the forums. For more information, please contact Valdez Heron, Community Organizer, at


Borough of Brooklyn, September 20, 2018, 6:00 PM
P.S. 133 William A. Butler School
610 Baltic Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Borough of Queens, September 26, 2018, 6:00 PM
Queens Borough Hall
120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, NY 11424

Borough of Manhattan, September 27, 2018, 6:00 PM
Manhattan Municipal Building
1 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007

Borough of Bronx, October 3, 2018, 6:00 PM
Bronx County Courthouse
851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451 


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