Weekly Update - August 20, 2020

In this issue...

In NY: Join Us Tuesday, August 25th for our #LessIsMoreNY Info Session 

In CT: Tragic Death Brings Spotlight to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons 

 

In NY: Join Us Tuesday, August 25th for our #LessIsMoreNY Info Session 

 


 

Last month, lawmakers returned to session where they took up several criminal justice bills in their committees. However, many important criminal justice reform bills that community members have been pushing for were not on the agenda for a vote, including our #LessIsMoreNY parole reform legislation. As more New Yorkers continue to be locked up for minor technical parole violations, even amid a deadly pandemic, it is imperative that the legislature pass #LessIsMoreNY immediately.

We invite you to join us next Tuesday, August 25 from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. for our member-led #LessIsMoreNY Info Session, open to all community members and held digitally via zoom. During the session, Katal members and staff will answer questions about the #LessIsMoreNY parole reform bill, such as:

  • What is the #LessIsMoreNY Act and how will it address New York's parole crisis and free people free?
  • I am on parole - will the #LessIsMoreNY Act help me?
  • My loved one is on parole - will the #LessIsMoreNY Act help them?
  • How can I get involved in the effort to pass the #LessIsMoreNY Act?

We thank all who joined us for our July session, and we hope to see all of you next week!

Register for this call here.

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

 


In CT: Tragic Death Brings Spotlight to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons 

 

Katal leader Josh Frazer at one of our #FreeThemNowCT in-car protests in April.

 

An article released this week by the CT Mirror reports the tragic story of a man who took his life in the CT DOC last week by hanging himself with a face mask. He is the third person to die by suicide in the CT DOC this year. The article outlines the COVID-19 issue in the DOC, the complicated bail system in the state, and the DOC's "drive-by" mental health services. 

This tragic news reminds us of why we're doing the work that we are doing; it underscores the urgent need for lawmakers to take up the issue of COVID-19 in CT jails and prisons and develop a comprehensive plan that saves lives and ensures the health of all people.

Our members issued this statement in July, featured in the CT Mirror, calling for the Legislature to divest from the carceral system and instead invest in our communities, and pass laws that concretely support Black lives.

And as Katal members noted in response to Gov. Lamont’s inaction: “performative gestures, like declaring racism a public health issue is woefully insufficient to legitimately dismantle racism and oppression for Black people.”

 


 

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 - we’re online and on socials via @katalcenter.

For printing and distribution, Katal Weekly Update PDF version.