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weekly update – april 3, 2020

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In this issue…

New York: A Victory – Some Good News! – in Challenging Times

The Healthy & Just CT Coalition Demands Immediate Action from Gov. Lamont – Release Vulnerable Populations from Jails and Prisons

New York: A Victory— Some Good News!— in Challenging Times 

Directly impacted people and advocates rally in the NY Capitol demanding passage of #LessIsMoreNY (Day of Action in February 2020). 

We have some good news to share: we won release of 1,100 people from jails around New York— including 400 or more people released from Rikers Island Jail Complex. With our partners in the #LessIsMoreNY campaign, we’ve been pushing Governor Cuomo to release people in the face of #COVID19. Last week, he announced that he would release 1,100 people who were being held on technical violations of parole— violations that were “non-serious”— as he described recently in an interview with MSNBC. The release of 1,100 is a great development! People are already heading home. Our campaign statement, which gives more background, is here.  And here’s a story from last weekend about the release, but it does not mention the organizing work that made it happen (it’s a NY Post story, after all).

The governor’s decision to release 1,100, important as it is, leaves nearly 5,000 incarcerated in jails and prisons for the same types of violations. That’s why passage of our #LessIsMoreNY bill is so critically important. Unfortunately, the Governor and Legislature failed to pass #LessIsMoreNY in the state budget that was finalized, finally, today. Without passing #LessIsMoreNY, incarcerated individuals, corrections employees, and the larger community are even more susceptible to the spread of and potential death by COVID-19.

And, some very bad news: In the new Budget, in the height of the #COVID19 pandemic killing New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo rammed through rollbacks to bail reform that will lead to more people in cages. Read our statement condemning the rollback of bail reform in the 2020 Budget.

TAKE ACTION: Contact your elected officials TODAY to tell them to prioritize and pass Less Is More when they return to session. Use this link to email and tweet legislators in NY.

The Healthy & Just CT Coalition Demands Immediate Action from Gov. Lamont – Release Vulnerable Populations from Jails and Prisons

The numbers of positive cases of #COVID19 has steadily been rising across Connecticut jails and prisons, and despite ongoing demands by community groups, there have been no actions taken by the Governor to prevent greater harm and death within these facilities. It is unconscionable that Governor Ned Lamont still refuses to take the necessary steps to address the health and well being of incarcerated people.

In response to this lack of action by Governor Lamont, the Healthy & Just CT Coalition— convened by Katal— released a statement demanding the immediate release of incarcerated people to slow the spread of COVID-19 both in and out of jails and prisons, and prevent needless deaths. The Governor has failed to take the necessary steps to release people and save lives. Releasing people is only humane and smart progressive policy in this moment and going forward.

Read our full statement and list of demands.

  • Take action now to demand Gov. Lamont address the health and safety of incarcerated people in CT. Use this link to email and tweet Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut Corrections, and the Judiciary Branch demanding they urgently release as many people as possible to stop the spread and impact of #COVID19.
  • Check out our new #COVID19 Connecticut animation calling on Governor Ned Lamont to immediately release people here, designed by Josh MacPhee!


This is a hard, complicated time for so many. Please be safe out there and  take care of each other. Keep practicing social distancing, wash your hands, and check in on your neighbors. If you want to learn more about our work or just connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

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