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New York Update-April 28, 2022

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Crisis on Rikers: Federal Takeover?

On Tuesday, the Federal Judge monitoring Rikers Island held a hearing to discuss the dire conditions on Rikers Island and the potential of a federal takeover of Rikers from NYC Department of Corrections through a receivership. This hearing followed a letter sent to the Federal Judge last week by the US Attorney’s office that describes “the extraordinary level of violence and disorder at the jails and the ongoing imminent risk of harm that [incarcerated people] and correction officers face every day.”

Our Co-Executive Director, gabriel sayegh, joined News 12 yesterday to discuss the issue of Rikers Island and the need to shut it down to protect incarcerated people and save lives. Check out the interview here. 

Federal takeover at Rikers is on the table because the Federal Monitor has been in place for six years, but the City hasn’t materially changed conditions at Rikers and the conditions have only gotten worse – last year 16 incarcerated people died on Rikers. A federal takeover could cut through red tape and resolve long-standing dysfunction and staff crises at Rikers – but it is clear that the only way to truly address the crisis is to shutdown Rikers once and for all.

To get involved in efforts to close Rikers, please reach out to Melanie Dominquez at 

#LessIsMoreNY Twitter Space

Yesterday, we held our first #LessIsMoreNY Twitter Space with Dyjuan Tatro, a board member of the Bard Prison Initiative and one of the 8,000 people recently discharged from parole early due to the #LessIsMoreNY Act.  We discussed the issues of the parole system in NY, went over the provisions of #LessIsMoreNY, and highlighted the impact

of the new law  thus far. We closed the space by talking about reinvesting the cost-savings of the Less Is More Act back into the communities most harmed by mass incarceration and the parole system. During this lively discussion, community members called for the savings to be invested in housing, health care, education, and jobs. 

If you have any questions about #LessIsMoreNY or want to join an upcoming event, please contact Melanie Dominguez at

Katal Team in Hartford

Most of Katal’s staff gathered today at Katal’s headquarters in Hartford for our first all-staff in-person meeting of the year. We started the day discussing the current political context we’re organizing in with upcoming elections in both NY and CT, the far-right’s push for anti-Black, LGBTQ, and women legislation in states across the country, recent wins in union organizing, billionaires purchasing social media platforms, and much more. We spent the bulk of our day mapping out our summer organizing intensive: door knocking, flyering, and tabling across New York and Connecticut. We’re excited to connect with new people this summer and continue to build power to end mass incarceration and the war on drugs. 

We’re hiring – NYC Community Organizer

We’re hiring for a community organizer in New York. This is a great opportunity for organizers who want to join a stellar organizing team focused on:

  • Building collective power
  • Advancing racial justice
  • Developing the leadership of neighborhood residents

Click here for more info and to apply for the New York Community Organizer Position!

Katal Quotes of the Week

These are some of the quotes we’re thinking about this week.

“all that you touch you change

all you change, changes you” 

–Octavia Butler

“Life is not what you alone make it. Life is the input of everyone who touched your life and every experience that entered it. We are all part of one another.” — Yuri Kochiyama

“Integrity has no need of rules.” –Albert Camus

For printing and distribution, Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

Katal works to strengthen the people, policies, institutions, and movements that advance equity, health, and justice. Join us: web, Twitter, Facebook!


Phone: 646.875.8822.

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