Katherine Beltres-Passley

Beyond the Bars

Katherine “Kat” Beltres-Passley was born and raised in Miami to Afro-Dominican parents. After ICE detained many of her family members and her father was incarcerated, she dedicated herself to fighting for a just society.

Kat joined Beyond the Bars as a member in 2020 after her father, who is currently incarcerated, contracted COVID at Metro West Detention Center in Miami. She took up a leadership role within the organization, sharing her intimate knowledge of the State Attorney’s Office and police departments to benefit Beyond the Bars members with open criminal cases. Kat co-led Beyond the Bars’ successful campaigns in Miami to eliminate the costs of incarceration in county jails. She is the recipient of the 5 Under 35 Award by Florida International University, the 40 Under 40 Award by Florida Memorial University, and was selected to lead organizing trainings by Leading Change Network and the Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People and Families Movement. She also received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.