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weekly update – october 1, 2020

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Hartford: #FreeThemNowCT Protest

Save the Date: NY Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call, Thursday 10/8, 12 p.m. EST.

Hartford: #FreeThemNowCT Protest

Katal members and family members of incarcerated people hold up signs on the steps of the CT State Capitol during Tuesday’s #FreeThemNowCT rally and speakout.

This week, we organized an action at the CT state capitol to demand Governor Lamont and the legislature immediately address the issue of COVID-19 in jails and prisons. Katal members – including those with loved ones detained inside state prisons — joined with our allies from Stop Solitary CT to rally and speak out. Participants at the rally held signs with words of currently incarcerated people and their loved ones, calling out the discrepancies in the stories they are hearing in contrast to the stories told by the DOC. The rally follows a letter we sent to Gov. Lamont’s office on Monday, demanding he take action. Our letter, and the rally, were featured in the CT Mirror.

Lamont and the legislature have refused to take the necessary preventive measures to release incarcerated individuals and build a comprehensive plan for COVID-19 within the Connecticut Department of Corrections (DOC). And as the special session continues today, still missing from the agenda is any plan or proposal to address COVID-19 in state prisons and jails.

Katal member Isaiah holds up his fist in solidarity with those incarcerated after giving testimony.

People’s lives are in danger. Legislators cannot let two special sessions come and go as they ignore demands from the communities they represent while also disregarding the health and safety of their incarcerated constituents. The legislature must take swift and aggressive action to decarcerate Connecticut jails and prisons in order to continue to flatten the curve of COVID-19 within the Connecticut Department of Corrections and save lines.

Check out our press release here and our full letter to Governor Lamont here

And join us in calling on Lamont and state legislators to #FreeThemNowCT – here.

For more information about our work in Connecticut or how to join one of our weekly member meetings, please contact Kenyatta Thompson, at

Save the Date:

NY Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call, Thursday 10/8, 12 p.m. EST.

In New York State: Join us next Thursday, October 8 from 12 – 1 p.m. for our next New York Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call held via zoom. These calls bring together organizers and advocates to share updates about criminal justice reform in New York.  Since the last Statewide call, the legislature has not reconvened to pass any criminal justice legislation or any COVID-19 related legislation to decarcerate New York’s jails and prisons. But there have been a few related legislative hearings — last week, the New York Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections and the Senate Standing Committee on Health held a joint public hearing regarding the impact of COVID-19 on jails and prisons in New York. Many groups testified, calling for decarceration, including Katal – read our testimony.

On the call next Thursday, we’ll get updates about these hearings, hear about two new campaigns launching in NY, get an update about criminal justice reform in the upcoming statewide elections, and more. Please register for the call here.

Keep practicing social distancing, wear your mask, wash your hands, and check in on your neighbors. If you want to get involved, learn more about our work, or just connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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