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weekly update – february 6, 2020

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In this issue…

Defending and Implementing #BailReformNY

Connecticut: Join Us for Our CT Monthly Meeting

New York: Join Us 2/18 at NYU Law for Our #LessIsMoreNY Forum

Defending and Implementing #BailReformNY

Impacted community members, advocates, and state legislators from across New York State stand together in solidarity on the steps of the Million Dollar Staircase at the Capitol last month to defend the new bail reforms.

For decades, New York kept thousands of people — mostly people of color– in jail pretrial, simply because they couldn’t afford to pay bail. This in turn propped up an entire industry of commercial bail companies, who extracted millions from poor and low income communities of color. After years of community groups and advocates fighting for justice, last year New York passed one of the most impressive bail and pretrial reform packages in the nation. The reforms are broad — eliminating cash bail and pretrial detention for nearly all misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, restoring due process, and ensuring the right to a speedy trial. (Read our summary, from last year, about how the law came to pass.)

In just the first month since the reforms were enacted, hundreds of families have been reunited across the state, while jail populations are going down!

But opponents are not done, and they’ve launched a coordinated campaign of lies and disinformation in an effort to repeal the law. And now, there are growing signs that this anti-reform campaign has links to white supremacists and Nazis.

Katal and our allies are fighting back.

We must stand strong and united against potential rollbacks to the new law because bail reform brings more justice to New Yorkers. In partnership with Katal, Center for Court Innovation, Justleadership, Legal Aid Society, Vocal New York, New York City Housing Authority and NYC Criminal Justice Agency, , New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is launching citywide #BailReformNY Information Sessions to be held throughout February in each of the 5 boroughs — beginning tonight in Brooklyn. The purpose of the sessions is to dispel myths surrounding the new bail law and to provide impacted communities with necessary tools and information, and access to services. We hope you’ll join us, and bring a friend.

Details and RSVP.

Be sure to also check out Justice Not Fear, a new website that debunks myths, and provides resources and information that explains the new bail reform law and what it means.

Connecticut: Join Us for Our CT Monthly Meeting

With the 2020 Connecticut Legislative Session now in session, we invite you to join us on Thursday, February 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for our Connecticut Monthly Meeting at our office in Hartford. Advocates and groups from across the state will share current initiatives, and identify and discuss criminal justice issues coming up in 2020 that will shape our work and this year’s session.

RSVP for next Thursday’s meeting.

Governor Ned Lamont gave his Connecticut State of the State address yesterday. Watch video clips from his address via his twitter to learn more about his 2020 proposals.

To learn more about our work in Connecticut contact our lead community organizer, Kenyatta Thompson, at or 860.937.6094.

New York: Join Us Tuesday, February 18 at NYU Law for Our #LessIsMoreNY Forum

New York reincarcerates more people for technical violations of parole than every other state in the nation except Illinois — driving mass incarceration, filling up state prisons and contributing to overcrowding in local jails. It’s time for the Governor and lawmakers in Albany to listen to the community, pass #LessIsMoreNY and provide the reentry support people need to successfully transition back home after periods of incarceration.

Join us Tuesday, February 18 from 6-8 p.m. at the New York University School of Law for a timely conversation about the issue of parole in New York State and reincarceration for technical violations of parole, and how the #LessIsMoreNY legislation would fix this. New Yorker’s can no longer wait for an equitable justice system.

RSVP and Details.

Here’s a few updates and resources:

  • In case you missed it, last week the #LessIsMoreNY Coalition convened a powerful day of action at the Capitol to demand prioritization of parole reform and urgent passage of the Less Is More Act. Read our full release.
  • The Queens Daily Eagle published an important piece about #LessIsMoreNY, uplifting the voices of some of our allies and their experiences with New York’s outdated, racially biased, and unjust community corrections system. Read it here.

To learn about our effort to pass #LessIsMoreNY and for more details about our upcoming #LessIsMoreNY Forum, contact Yan Snead at or at 518.360.1534

For printing and distribution, Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

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