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weekly update – february 8, 2019

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In this issue…

Support Grows Across the State for Passing #LessIsMoreNY

Growing Our Member Base in Hartford

Testifying in Support of Criminal Justice Measures in Connecticut

Support Grows Across the State for Passing #LessIsMoreNY

We are thrilled to share news of this week’s successful press conference in support of our Less Is More bill.

Yesterday, February 7th, a unique coalition– community groups, directly impacted people, prosecutors and legislators from across the state– alongside State Senator Brian Benjamin (D-Manhattan), and Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D-Brooklyn) convened for a press conference at Brooklyn Law School in support of the Less Is More: Community Supervision Revocation Reform Act (S.1343A—Benjamin/Assm. Same-As # pending, Mosley).

Katal members, Curtis Bell and Nancy Sicardo, alongside our Director of the Women and Girl’s Project, Donna Hylton, expressed their support of the bill and gave powerful testimonies of their experiences with prison and New York’s antiquated parole system. Developers of the bill including our Co-ED and Co-Founder gabriel sayeghVincent Schiraldi of the Columbia Justice Lab, Emily NaPier Singletary of Unchained, spoke on the significant implications that would derive from the bill’s passage.

We were joined by Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr., Bronx Chief Assistant DA Derek Lynton, JustleadershipUSA CEO DeAnna Hoskins, former Director of Statewide Reentry Services Vanda Seward, former NYC Commissioner of DOC and Probation Michael JacobsonRev. Reginald Bachus of Abyssinian Baptist Church, and Associate Vice President of Programs at The Fortune Society Rob DeLeon.

We deeply thank all who came out to support our team and this bill, the room was packed! We will continue our effort to get it passed.

Read the full release here.

Read the Politico exclusive story here, the News12 Brooklyn story here, and the State of Politics story, here.

If you’d like to learn more about this bill or if you’d like to sign your group onto the list of supporters, contact Donna Hylton at or Cedric Fulton at

Growing Our Member Base in Hartford

On Wednesday, February 5th, the Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice held its member meeting in Hartford with our Community Organizer, Kenyatta Thompson. New members shared their interests in criminal justice reform with established members, and the latter shared updates on their actions thus far.

Member Taylor Ford recapped a meeting with Bloomfield Town Counselor, Kenneth McClary, whom the group spoke with a series of incidents at a halfway house in the aforementioned town. Members Cherell Banks and Tammy Leach updated the group on their next meetings with elected officials, inviting others to join the ongoing conversations. Kenyatta Thompson shared updates related to Public Hearings at the legislature in the upcoming week, and the Executive Summary of Katal’s Statewide Criminal Justice Field Scan in Connecticut.

As the meeting came to a close, members outlined two different initiatives to research before the next member meeting in March.

To join us for the next Connecticut meeting, contact Kenyatta at or 860.937.6094.

Testifying in Support of Criminal Justice Measures in Connecticut

Yesterday, Katal members in Connecticut voiced their opinions to the Housing Committee in the Connecticut General Assembly. Of the many items heard before the committee, Katal members testified in support of HB 5712, HB 5713 and SB 54— each of which are pieces of legislation that would provide protections for formerly incarcerated people.

While our members supported these measures, they also urged members of the committee to strengthen their legislation.

“We can’t continue to write laws that set up formerly incarcerated people to fail,” said member Susan Reynolds, in support of HB 5713 with amendments.

To stay up to date with upcoming measures that Katal members are supporting, contact Kenyatta Thompson at or 860.937.6094.

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