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weekly update – september 25, 2020

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In this issue…

In CT: Join Us Next Week – Action on 9/29, and Statewide Call on 10/1

In NYS: Testifying at Senate Joint Committee on #COVIDBehindBars

In CT: Join Us Next Week – Action on 9/29, and Statewide Call on 10/1  

As the legislature reconvenes next week for the last special session, they have yet to address the issue of COVID-19 in correctional facilities in Connecticut. We invite you to join Katal and allies next Tuesday, September 29 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Connecticut State Capitol (North Side facing Bushnell Park) for a protest to demand that the legislature and Governor Lamont address COVID-19 in state prisons and jails, and #FreeThemNowCT. Please bring PPE and maintain social distancing guidelines. Register for this action here.

And save the date – CT Statewide CJ Reform Call: Join us next Thursday, October 1 from 11 a.m. to noon for our next Connecticut Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call held via zoom. These calls bring together organizers and advocates to share updates about criminal justice reform in Connecticut,  and discuss ways to align, coordinate, and support each other’s work to end mass incarceration. In the midst of this pandemic,  these calls are another way to connect with each other to continue our collective movement work for freedom and justice. Register for the meeting here.

For more information about our monthly calls in Connecticut or Tuesday’s action at the Capitol, please contact Kenyatta Thompson, at

In NYS: Testifying at Senate Joint Committee on #COVIDBehindBars

This week, we testified at a joint committee hearing in the NYS Senate, regarding the impact of COVID-19 in jails and prisons across the state. Katal Lead Organizer Kenyatta Thompson presented the testimony, highlighting that in the midst of COVID-19, people on parole are being sent back to prison for minor “technical violations” like missing curfew, to then be subjected to sickness and death by the coronavirus. Governor Cuomo and the Legislature can prevent needless deaths simply by passing a number of pending criminal justice reform bills, including #LessIsMoreNY. Check out our statement and testimony

And yesterday, we held our latest #LessIsMoreNY Campaign Update  with our partners Unchained and A Little Piece of Light.  Unchained’s co-director Emily NaPier Singletary facilitated the conversation including audio clips about the bill by Unchained co-director Derek Singletary, who is currently incarcerated. Katal member Ms. Della and Little Piece of Light member Curtis shared their experiences with New York’s broken parole system and how the #LessIsMoreNY Act will  greatly help their situations. Katal Policy Coordinator Yonah Zeitz provided an update on the bill status, and Lead Organizer Kenyatta Thompson outlined the next steps call participants can take to get involved in the effort to get the bill passed. #LessIsMoreNY will save lives and help people successfully transition back into their communities, families, and jobs. The time to pass this legislation is NOW.

If you weren’t able to make this call, join us on the next one in October. Register here. And you can still get involved today by taking action here.

For more information about the #LessIsMoreNY campaign and how you can get involved, please contact our Policy Coordinator, Yonah Zeitz at

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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