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weekly update – april 25, 2019

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Rallying to Close Rikers

Join us for our next Healthy & Just CT Monthly Statewide Coalition Meeting

Rallying to Close Rikers

Katal members and staff alongside leaders and advocates from the #CLOSErikers campaign.

Monday, our members and team, leaders and advocates from the #CLOSErikers campaign, along with grassroots organizations and partners, convened on the steps of City Hall to continue the push to close the failed jail complex and celebrate the three-year anniversary of the #CLOSErikers movement.

Members and advocates discussed the progress made to date — including passage earlier this month of historic bail reform — and the action steps needed to secure a more just and fair criminal justice system in New York City, including reinvesting money from the current criminal legal system into programs that support people and communities. In addition, our team and members called for parole reform by demanding Albany pass our Less is More: Community Supervision Revocation Reform Act —  developed by people on parole, people currently incarcerated, family members, Katal, Unchained, and the Columbia Justice Lab — which would further decarcerate Rikers, and jails and prisons across New York State, and help people to successfully rejoin their communities.

Donna Hylton giving testimony about her experience on Rikers Island and our Less Is More bill.

Lorenzo Jones, Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice, said: “Closing Rikers is a moral and political imperative. It is a critical step to advance health, equity, and justice for all neighborhoods in New York City. We are not standing idly by and assuming that closure will just happen on its own because some officials said so. Communities are continuing to organize across the City, to make closure a fact instead of just a promise. The City Council, Community Boards, Borough Presidents, the District Attorneys, and yes, the Mayor, all are responsible now to take action to make closure real. And we are going to hold them accountable to that demand, because New Yorkers deserve nothing less.”

Read our full release here.

Katal members and staff alongside grassroots organizations and leaders and advocates from the #CLOSErikers campaign convene on the steps of New York City Hall.

Join us for our next Healthy & Just CT Monthly Statewide Coalition Meeting

We invite groups to join us Thursday, May 9th from 11am-12pm at our Hartford Office for our next Healthy & Just CT Statewide Coalition meeting.

The goals of this coalition are to:

  • Strengthen the field of criminal justice reform by facilitating intersectional collaborations;
  • Identify and discuss resources for collective action on criminal justice reform;
  • Coordinate work that increases the role and leadership of people directly impacted.

Additionally, be sure to read our Connecticut Criminal Justice Reform Field Scan here. We synthesized hundreds of surveys and interviews, centering the voices of CT residents, into five digestible themes. We thank the Tow Foundation for supporting and sharing our research, and we hope that over the next number of years this will serve to inform the next phase of advocacy to end mass incarceration in CT.

To learn more about our work in Connecticut and to RSVP for our next Healthy & Just CT Coalition Meeting, contact our Community Organizer, Kenyatta Thompson at or 860.937.6094. We hope that we’ll see you there!

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