Closing Rikers Island Jail Complex
As a co-founder of #CLOSErikers campaign, Katal directed the field organizing and led the behind-the-scenes strategy to pressure Mayor Bill de Blasio finally agreeing to shut down the facility. Today, closing Rikers the official policy of New York City – and the task ahead is to make closure happen as swiftly as possible.This won’t be easy. For instance, the most exhaustive report yet about how to close Rikers was published by the Independent Commission on Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, in April 2017. It details dozens of reforms necessary to make closure possible. Read that report here.
Mayor de Blasio has also issued a report about closing Rikers – read that here.
To truly close Rikers, we must transform the criminal justice system as a whole and redefine safety and justice in New York. In the summer of 2017, to pursue the numerous reforms necessary to secure wide-scale reform, Katal stepped down from our leadership role in the more narrowly defined #CLOSErikers campaign, and concluded our partnership with JLUSA.Because reducing pretrial detention populations are an essential step to make closure possible, Katal is leading efforts in Albany for bail and speedy trial reform, while working at the City level to expedite the closure process.