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weekly update – october 22, 2020

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In this issue…

National Academies of Sciences: Decarcerate Jails and Prisons Amid #COVID19

#LessIsMoreNY Campaign Update Call

Join Us Monday, 10/26: #LessIsMoreNY Protest at Gov. Cuomo’s NYC Office

National Academies of Sciences: Decarcerate Jails and Prisons Amid #COVID19 

On Tuesday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a new study that advises policymakers, corrections leaders, and public health officials to ramp up decarceration efforts in order to mitigate the continuing threat of COVID-19. The report amplifies the calls by community groups in Connecticut and New York for Governors Lamont and Cuomo to take urgent action to save lives in the face of COVID-19.

As of October 19th, the NYTimes reported that more than 242,00 people in US jails and prisons have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 1,400 incarcerated individuals and correctional officers have died. And despite this data, in the face of COVID-19, both Lamont and Cuomo have largely ignored the health and well being of their incarcerated constituents and their loved ones, leaving them to suffer.

Lamont and Cuomo, and Governors across the country, should consider the recommendations that NASEM has set forth, listen to the community members they serve and use their executive authority to develop and implement comprehensive COVID-19 plans before more needless deaths occur. Lives are at risk, and the time is now.

We issued press releases in response to the report:

Read our Connecticut press release here.

Read our New York press release here.

#LessIsMoreNY Campaign Update Call

Had #LessIsMoreNY passed last session, there would be thousands of people home with their families during the #COVID19 pandemic. Instead they are locked up inside NYS jails and prisons, and living in inhumane conditions. So yesterday, Katal and our partners led another #LessIsMoreNY Campaign Update – providing details about what the bill is, what it does, and how to get involved. The meeting was co-facilitated by Katal Co-Executive Director Lorenzo Jones, and Unchained Co-Executive Director Emily Singletary.

Katal member Gabriela Vazquez sharing information about the #LessIsMoreNY Act with meeting participants.

The conversation also covered the next steps necessary to pass the legislation and details on how participants can get involved and take action to get the bill passed. #LessIsMoreNY will save lives and help people successfully transition back into their communities, families, and jobs. It is past the time to pass this transformative piece of legislation. Legislators must act NOW.

We thank all who participated and joined us for this important conversation, and we hope you’ll take action below and join us in the effort to get this bill passed!

In New York? Want to learn more about the #LessIsMoreNY Act and get involved as a member or volunteer? Contact Kenyatta Thompson at

Join Us Monday, 10/26: #LessIsMoreNY Protest at Gov. Cuomo’s NYC Office

For more information and to RSVP, contact NY Organizer Melanie Dominguez at or at 516-588-0127.

Can’t join in person? New York residents can join us in taking action online, 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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