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On September 17, 2021, the Less Is More: Community Supervision Revocation Reform Act was signed into law in New York. It restricts the use of incarceration for breaking noncriminal parole rules (“technical violations”), bolsters due process for people accused of violations, and provides “earned-time” credits to those who follow the rules. The new law also requires the state’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to provide people on parole access to community-based drug treatment and mental health services.

To download the fact sheet, please click here.

See the version with full citations here.

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On April 1, 2019, after years of work by grassroots groups and advocates across New York, lawmakers in Albany passed a historic slate of criminal justice reform bills to address the pretrial incarceration crisis in New York. 

Recently, Governor Hochul proposed rolling back bail reform and other much needed criminal justice reforms. Katal opposes efforts to roll back bail reform. It is wrong to hold people in jail simply because they cannot pay bail. It is racist to detain mostly Black and Latinx people at Rikers and other jails while wealthier (and mostly white) defendants can pay their way to freedom.

To learn more, read our Bail Reform in New York Fact Sheet

See version with full citations here

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The #LessIsMoreNY Act was introduced in 2018, and more than 300 organizations joined with district attorneys, sheriffs, and former correctional officials to push for its passage. After years of persistent advocacy throughout New York, the state assembly and state senate passed the bill in June 2021. On September 17, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed it into law.

A major provision of the #LessIsMoreNY Act—the component limiting re-incarceration for technical violations—went into effect immediately when Governor Hochul signed the bill and announced that hundreds of people imprisoned at the Rikers Island jail complex for such noncriminal parole violations would be released immediately. The rest of the new law takes effect on March 1, with the exception of two provisions.

This report addresses the following:
• A summary of the main provisions of the Less Is More Act
• Progress and challenges with respect to implementation so far
• Next steps and recommendations

To download a PDF of the report, please click here.

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COVID-19 in Connecticut Prisons and Jails: #FreeThemNowCT

As Connecticut continues to confront COVID-19, Governor Ned Lamont and  state officials have failed to develop a comprehensive plan to tackle the crisis of  the novel coronavirus in jails and prisons. As a result, COVID-19 continues to  spread in correctional facilities in Connecticut—and deaths of incarcerated people  continues to rise. It is time for Connecticut to follow the recommendations of health experts and the demands of impacted families  — the state must decarcerate now, and develop a coherent plan to keep incarcerated people safe in the midst of a pandemic.

Read our #FreeThemNowCT fact sheet here.

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COVID-19 in New York Prisons and Jails: #FreeThemNowNY 

As New York State continues to confront the worst public health crisis in the  last century, Governor Andrew Cuomo and state officials have failed to develop  a comprehensive plan to tackle the crisis of the novel coronavirus in jails and  prisons across the state. As a result, COVID-19 continues to spread in jails and  prisons in New York—and deaths of incarcerated people continue to rise. It is time for New York to follow the recommendations of health experts and the demands of impacted families — the state must decarcerate now, and develop a coherent plan to keep incarcerated people safe in the midst of a pandemic.

Read our #FreeThemNowNY fact sheet here.

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Addressing Addiction and Preventing Overdose in CT:

Providing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Jails and Prisons

People struggling with addiction deserve treatment and care. However, due to stigma, criminalization, and the failed war on drugs, people are being prevented from accessing the care and the support they need to live healthy lives. Read our fact sheet on how to implement Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Connecticut jails and prisons here.

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Addressing Addiction and Preventing Overdose in NY:

Providing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Jails and Prisons

People struggling with addiction deserve treatment and care. However, due to stigma, criminalization, and the failed war on drugs, people are being prevented from accessing the care and the support they need to live healthy lives.

Read our fact sheet on how to implement Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in New York State jails and prisons here.

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Download the full Connecticut Criminal Justice Reform Field Scan, prepared by the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice here.

In 2018, the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice conducted a Connecticut Criminal Justice Field Scan. The Field Scan served several goals: first, we wanted to review where Connecticut stands in its efforts to end mass incarceration and for that assessment to be directly informed by groups working across the field. Second, we wanted to better understand how the Connecticut criminal justice field – and those who are connected to criminal justice reform efforts but who are not per se criminal justice reformers – perceived progress in our state comparatively to states across the nation, and learn what further efforts were needed to advance decarceration – both in the 2019 legislative session under a new governor, and long-term. Third, we wanted an increased understanding of the range of groups, coalitions, and networks currently working to end mass incarceration in Connecticut – and to uncover new configurations and relationships that may have developed. Finally, we wanted to bring together a wide range of voices – both familiar leaders and unfamiliar folks on the ground around the state – to solicit input about the best path forward to further strengthen the movement to end mass incarceration in Connecticut.

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New Yorkers value justice, fairness, and equal opportunity. But our broken justice system undermines these values. On any given day in New York State, approximately 25,000 people are detained in local jails; nearly 70 percent of them —about 16,000 people—are in jail pretrial.1 This means they have not been convicted of a crime—they have only been charged with a crime, are presumed innocent, and are awaiting their day in court. Most are sitting in jail pretrial because they cannot afford to pay cash bail.

Report – A Guide to Bail Reform in New York

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