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katal newsletter – september 27, 2018

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In this issue…

Hosting Delegations to learn about community-based diversion in Albany, NY

Katal supports the Mass Bail Out Action

hosting delegations to learn about community-based diversion in albany, ny



Last week, community members and city officials from Connecticut and New York’s Warren and Washington Counties came to Albany to learn more about the city’s community-based arrest diversion program known as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD). Katal staff helped arrange for delegation members to meet with The Center for Law and Justice, the Albany Police Department, the Albany Probation Department, Catholic Charities Care Coordination Services, St. Catherine’s Center for Children and a host of other partners. The day began with a welcome and introduction by Keith Brown, Katal’s Director of Health and Harm Reduction and a presentation on the origin of LEAD in Albany, led by Dr. Alice Green and Ret. Chief Brendan Cox. The conversation was then followed by members of Albany LEAD’s Community Leadership Team, who stressed the importance and necessity of community engagement in diversion initiatives.

After lengthy conversation with service providers and law enforcement/legal stakeholders, the day concluded with the delegation attending the bi-weekly Operational Work Group meeting. Special thanks to all in Albany who were able to attend!

To learn more about Katal’s harm reduction and arrest-diversion efforts in Connecticut and New York, and how to become involved, contact Keith Brown via


katal supports the mass bail out



Hundreds of women and teenagers will be bailed out from Rikers Island as part of a national campaign to dismantle a bail system that discriminates against people of color and the poor. The effort is being spearheaded by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFK) organization, which plans to raise at least $5 million to fund the releases. Organizers said they believe this effort at Rikers has the potential to be one of the largest ever.

“The crux of the issue is that in New York City, we criminalize poverty,” Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, said in an interview. “There are no wealthy people on Rikers Island because if you are wealthy, you go free because you make bail… For a week or 10 days, we want to show we can have a system of justice that works.”

Katal is supporting the Mass Bailout Action as we share the end goal of closing Rikers Island. Our criminal justice system needs to address and be held accountable for the way in which it criminalizes poverty. This is an opportunity for New York to create real change. If you’d like to become a partner of this action, sign on here and be sure to follow the action on twitter for updates.



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