FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2014
WISDOM Calls on Governor Walker to Act NOW
to Fix a Broken, Unjust and Wasteful Parole System
2,887 men and women in the Wisconsin prison system are, as a matter of law, eligible for parole.  Governor Walker and the Department of Corrections confirmed this as the number of people still in our prisons who were sentenced prior to January 1, 2000.  The cost to keep these people in prison, most of them past the date they could be released, is estimated at more than $85 million per year.  But, parole is now only rarely granted.  According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, in 2011-12 only 150 paroles were granted (in contrast to 1651 granted in 2004).
All of these 2,887 prisoners have been in prison for more than thirteen years.  Many

have been there for fifteen, twenty, or more years and have done everything possible to comply with the conditions for their release, yet have encountered a system that makes their release impossible. The 2,887 were sentenced to prison at a time when judges trusted the Parole Board to determine when people convicted of crime, after having served a significant amount of time, could safely return to the community.

The system has broken faith with the judges who imposed the sentences, with the men and women who serve the sentences, and with their families. It has also broken faith with the taxpayers of Wisconsin.
On December 17, 2013, members of the WISDOM 11×15 Campaign met with Governor Walker’s representative, and were promised answers to four requests by the end of January, 2014.  Those requests were:
1. For a report of the number of prisoners currently in Wisconsin institutions who were sentenced prior to 1/1/2000 (when parole was part of the sentence);
2.  For the Governor to order the Parole Board and the Department of Corrections to work cooperatively to make parole possible for all prisoners who were meeting the conditions and expectations placed on them by their judges;
3.  For the Governor to order a review of each of the cases of parole-eligible inmates before the end of 2014;
4.  For the Governor to appoint an independent 3rd party “ombudsman” to conduct a thorough review of the system as it pertains to this population, and to issue a public report.
While we are grateful to have received a partial answer to the first request, we are very disappointed not to receive a considered response to numbers 2, 3 or 4.
The 11×15 campaign is not asking for the immediate release of all 2,887 prisoners at this time, and is not even calling for the release of any specific prisoners.  We do call for an immediate, transparent, and complete review of a system that seems to have broken down
.
Rev. Joseph Ellwanger of Milwaukee said, “While very little real data seems to have been kept, we know of many inmates who have completed every bit of required programming, and more, yet are denied parole.  We have heard of other instances when the parole board has required certain programming as a condition for release, and the inmate has not been given the opportunity to complete that programming.  We have seen inexplicable reports from the parole board that extoll exemplary conduct and effort by the inmate, and still simply deny parole.  We have heard “insufficient time served” given as a reason to deny parole, even for prisoners who are many years beyond the date they were eligible.  Something is wrong, and thousands of people suffer for it every day the state chooses not to act to correct it.”
WISDOM calls on the Governor of Wisconsin to use his authority to fix the system that keeps so many of these 2,887 prisoners locked up far beyond the necessary time, at great costs to the prisoners, to their families and to the taxpayers of Wisconsin.
For more information, please contact David Liners at 414-736-2099, or david.liners1@gmail.com
The “11×15 Campaign for Safer, Healthier Communities” has grown from a call by members of the faith community for the state of Wisconsin to take action to cut the prison population in half (to 11,000) by the end of 2015.  The campaign has called for an increased commitment to alternatives to incarceration for people with mental health and/or addiction issues.  It is working for removal of barriers to success for those returning from jail or prison, so recidivism rates can be reduced.  And, it is working to call attention to the need for reform of an outdated sentencing structure.  The 11×15 campaign is a project of WISDOM, the network of congregation-based organizations throughout the state.  The campaign has been supported by thousands of individuals and dozens of groups and organizations.

Parole a distant dream for too many

Wisconsin prisoners fight for freedom

We have learned that there are 2,887 Old Law prisoners in the Wisconsin prisons system. Below is a link to an article in response to this shocking news.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/parole-a-distant-dream-for-too-many-b99198263z1-244447111.html

prison pic 5

“Voices From Inside:  Wisconsin Prisoners Speak Out” is now available.  The book contains excerpts from some of the hundreds of letters WISDOM has received from inmates since the start of the 11×15 campaign.  The letters touch upon a variety of themes, and each of them reminds us that prisoners are human beings with hopes, dreams, regrets and questions.  The letters are accompanied by reflections from judges, bishops, pastors and others, as well as important facts about the criminal justice system.

Books can be obtained from any local WISDOM group or from the WISDOM office — 3195 S. Superior St., #310, Milwaukee, WI 53207.  A $5 donation per book is suggested.

“Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Wisconsin prison inmates are eligible for parole.  They were sentenced under the “old law” (prior to “Truth In Sentencing” started on January 1, 2000, but very many are not getting a chance to earn their release.  Below is the statement delivered to the Governor’s office by 100 WISDOM members on December 17, 2013.”

Parole Statement — December 2013 (1)

 

47 Responses to

  1. Anne Strauch says:

    This is what I do for a living…..I am the Regional Program Director for Circles of Support. Our program successfully helps to transition people from incarceration back into the community. We also have a new, innovative program working with the highest risk offenders. I serve on the Brown County Corrections Board, Taycheedah Community Board, etc……

    I also am an elected official on the Outagamie County Board of Supervisors and serve on the Public Safety Committee.

    I appreciate your EVERY effort in this campaign. Thank you for your good work!

  2. Thomas Monson says:

    I want to participate in the March on 2-20. I also would like to help in any way I can. Thanks. ps I will be getting the word out.

  3. Sister Sharon Roedl, SSND says:

    I endorse the 11×15 Campaign. Thanks for all you are doing to help us keep informed and active. I have the gift of a dear friend at Taycheedah who was sentenced to 15 years for killing a man in an accident because she was being chased by police for cashing a check illegally. In the chase she lost control and hit a car and killed a man. She has completely turned her life around while in prison. Yet, what she really needs (and gets a little in prison) is help with her addictions. So, blessing on your ministry and thanks for sharing with us. P. S. Visiting Lara at Taycheedah is a transformative experience for me.

  4. JULIE MCNAUGHTON says:

    WE NEED REHABILITATION.

  5. Shirley says:

    I feel that a life is wasted in prison. There is someone dear to my heart locked up and he is innocent. They never proved him guilty and there was no physical evidence to support this. He’s been locked up for 10 years. The justice system has mixed up terms on what is fair. We need a strong organization to reform the injusice of our society.

  6. The InsideOut Project wholeheartedly supports the 11×15 mission. We thank you for all the great work you’ve done to date to bring the campaign to fruition.

    Our goal is to provide sustainable solutions which empower women to succeed post-sentencing. We offer supportive treatment referral and resources along with job readiness and business training which allow women, families and the community to heal and thrive.

    We are excited to show the presentation to our Progressive Baptist family and other community partners with the goal of raising awareness and financial support.

  7. Nancy Holmlund says:

    For people of faith, supporting 11×15 is a no-brainer. For people with a sense of justice, the same is true. For people whose filter is “the bottom line,” it is fiscally responsible.

  8. Lucy Schultz says:

    Thanks for all this good work!

  9. Rufus Parker says:

    Great concept. But we need to train before the crime is committed.

  10. The presentation was eye-opening, especially the comparison between the state of MN’s prison statistics vs. WI’s stats. I hope this can be included on this website. If MN can do it, so can WI. I support this effort for restorative justice.

  11. Fr. Joe Mattern says:

    Hooray for WISDOM of Wisconsin for kicking off this campaign. This represents community organizing at its best. The goal is to make this a massive effort in the sense of consciousness-raising for everyone possible. With that power base, our legislators, courts, bishops, pastors and religious leaders will be moved to use their collective prophetic voice to respond to this grave injustice in our state. Did you catch Mike Olig’s well-written letter to the editor that appeared in the Sunday 26 issue of the Oshkosh Northwestern? Thanks, Mike, from all of us

  12. Brad Vivoda CSW CSAC says:

    I listened to a presentation this morning and was thoroughly impressed! I plan on supporting efforts to make 11,000 inmates a reality…thank you Gary and Penny for giving the presentation at the Fox Valley Warming Shelter! :-).

  13. larnal lindem says:

    larnal says i support the 11×15 campign and i have a revocation fairness petition that goes along with the 11×15 campign and if there is any way that we can support each other please contact me and let me know how I can help. I pray for your urgent response

  14. Brad says:

    My was convicted of obtaining a controled substance by fraud and give 2 year’s in prison. It did no good in fact it made thing’s worst. While in their she learned more way’s of criminal thinking. And now she is facing another drug charge in Oshkosh. With any luck this time she will get help not prision.

  15. James Dew says:

    Read Michelle Alexander’s (2010) The New Jim Crow.
    Please see also: http://www.ted.com/talks/bryan_stevenson_we_need_to_talk_about_an_injustice.html

  16. David Sibert says:

    First let me state that I agree with the over all idea that the prison population should be reduce. I do not know that the 11,000 is a correct number, it might be a little more or less, need more information.

    The Cost of these prisons here in the state are more, you did not give a breakdown and compare WI to MN, IA, IL, IN, or MI. With this breakdown comparation we can see where the money goes to. Example, within the last few months there was articles about guards calling in sick for thier normal work hours but worked later in the day on an extra shift which they were paid time and a half or even more. So in one day effectivly they were paid for (8hrs “sick” + (8hrs for overtime “1.5″) = 20 hrs instead of just the 8 that they worked.

  17. Linda Breitzman says:

    I have a love one in prison and is sentenced for 25 years, served 6 so far. It sure feel good there’s people like you who cares.He is a good kid, not a criminal . His life turned around in just seconds. I support the 11×15 campaign. Thank You for your good work. Linda

  18. Diane Toth says:

    I have a son in prison, almost 14 years. He is not the same addicted guy he was back then, he is great guy. He did the crime but they do not have to keep throwing it your face and determine for their benefit that you haven’t served enough time. Or tell you, well back 10 years ago you got a ticket and that means you haven’t changed. It doesn’t matter that you behaved since then at all. I just heard about your campaign today from my son and support it. I wish I had know about it when you were at the Fox Valley warming shelter. Previously from Milwaukee, now in Oshkosh. Thank God for people that care like most of the families of the incaracerated.

  19. Fr. Joe Mattern says:

    For more in depth background on what 11×15 is all about, check out the documentary “The House I Live In.” It won a top award at the Sundance Film Festival a few months ago. It focuses on the drug/prison scene in California. Its message speaks powerfully to what our 11x`15 is all about. It was hard to find…

  20. Mike Olig says:

    Check this Natgeo production, show that many see the problems but the political momentum is always tough instead of smart and pratical regrding crime. The science supports this effort, however, we all live with the illusion of invulnerability believing that we and ours will never be directly affected by a criminal justice system that is on automatic pilot. Jesus said “Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man.” We must say that “Man was not for the system/bureaucracy, but the system/bureaucracy was made to serve humans in wise, practical, compassionate ways.”

    May the force be with us.

    mike

  21. Laraine O'Brien says:

    After seeing the wonders being worked with people coming out of prison through the mentoring program in Tucson, I know that more effective help will lower the prison population. At last month’s group mentoring session, I had an amazing insight. I told the mentees that after being with this program for several years, I have seen mentees become mentors. I also told the mentees that they are the hope for changing our country if they can change themselves and help others to change.

  22. Jean F. Krauss says:

    I too have a loved one in prison, sentenced to 24 years, 6 years served. He is innocent of the charges that were brought on the bases of false allegations by his accuser whose motivation was revenge. The evidence was not tested and would have proven him innocent. Prosecutorial misconduct and incompetent assistance of his defence attorney in not doing even a basic preparation for trial led to conviction. Machner hearing denied by the judge.

  23. Renee Taylor, LPC-T says:

    I work with adolescent’s who are part of the juvenile justice system. While listening to the presentation given at First Congo UCC this past Sunday I was struck by the hopelessness and inhumanity perpetuated in the current system. Though I don’t think it was the intention of the truth in sentencing law, we as a state have taken away the natural incentives that drive people to do well and succeed…that they can reap the rewards of transformation and hard work. I wish I could say that all people are able to succeed because of internal motivations to change in the absence of reward, but even the best of us do better when we see the fruits of our labors. I support opportunities for all offenders to grow themselves and become safer, healthier, and more committed members of our society.

  24. Amanda says:

    This is absolutely wonderful! I was forwarded to this site, and I hands down support the 11 x 15 Campaign for Justice. I would love to get involved in any way I can.

  25. carrie theis says:

    Thank you for all that you do. I just heard about this and I want to help in anyway that I can. I too have a loved one in prison because of addiction. I am in recovery myself and know from doing meetings in the jail setting, that incarceration will not help a person with addictions.

  26. Here’s to a successful campaign for justice.

  27. This effort is very exciting because, as a former Prisoner of Conscience, and a volunteer in FLCI, DCI, and TCI for the past 7 years, and for the past 3 years volunteering with Circles of Support I’ve met many folks who could be supervised outside jail or prison rather than behind walls. I’ve known about 11×15 for several months but have been busy with other efforts until now. I’m committed to organizing around 11×15 in the Fond du Lac area.

  28. Robert J. Morgan says:

    I served 17 years as a Lifer inside the Wisconsin Prison System(75-92)and will be starting my 21rst year on ‘Parole’. While I support and encourage this effort, and will do all I can do contribute – allow me to present a perspective that the above ‘comments’ don’t touch on. Prison construction has become economically ‘RESCUING’ in times of high unemployment, it is the fastest growing ‘industry’ in the Nation and especially in Wisconsin. The U.S. Prison System has become a $60 billion a year industry growing on the backs of this nation’s taxpayers. Judges, attorneys, prosecutors, corrections and jail employees, parole boards, and a host of others depend on the ‘Criminal Dollar’ for their livelihood. Prison construction has become a booming industry in this country, with citizens of small towns like Portage and Stanley Wisconsin, waging massive campaigns to have a prison built in their town, citing economic relief as their major concern. Any effort to thwart this thriving ‘industry’ is going to be met with unlimited manpower and funding – they will win at any cost – they have no choice. The reality – Prisons don’t teach people to live in ‘Society, they teach them how to live in prison – they don’t teach them to be good citizens – but rather good ‘Inmates’ – the problem with that philosophy is that the only place you can be a good ‘Inmate’ is in Prison. Man’s inhumanity to man is being covered up by his own fear and confusion over the ever-growing crime and violence problem throughout this nation; covered up so well in fact, that man’s inhumanity to man, via our Prison System, has become one of the major ‘CONTRIBUTORS’ to Crime and Violence in this nation. I have seen dozens of 11×15 movements throughout my ‘tenure’(38 Years)in the Wisconsin penal System, and while I applaud your efforts, I fear the battle you wage is against a foe much bigger than you can imagine – they are Corrupt and Brutal, Scurrilious and without Morality – they have spent decades convincing those who support them of their ‘Dire Necessity’, of their need to exist. This is NOT about Crime and Violence, not really, it’s about ‘THEM’ and they are dug in way to deep to ever shut them down. This is about Wisconsin’s near pathological commitment to imprisonment and the $Dollars$ that it generates – this is about power and control. The promise of rehabilitation as the ‘Cornerstone’ of Corrections policy has been totally discredited, resulting in widespread confusion over the ultimate purpose of our present-day prison system. Senator Monroe Swan of Wisconsin, in a final report on Adult Corrections in 1979 declared “I believe that the Division of Corrections, the Parole Board, and the state Judiciary system should be closely scrutinzed to determine if a ‘Self-Fulfilling Prophecy’ has been created.” Lastly, If prisons do not rehabilitate, does the expectation of imprisonment at least deter would-be law breakers? NO! As a crime control measure, prisons have failed. They neither deter nor rehabilitate. For those 2,500,000 or more Americans locked away, our prisons have become breeding grounds for crime and human warehouses for profit. Few institutions illustrate our propensity for self-defeating cruelty better than our prisons and jails. Instead of rehabilitating those who need it, prisons often brutalize those who do not; instead of reducing crime, they help to increase it; instread of exemplifying the rule of law, they are among our worst examples of arbitrary administration. American prisons are both inhumane and ineffective. While I pray for your success, 11×15 Campaign, I fear the Gestapo Mentality will continue to build their Gulags and torture those within them, assuring their return. . .

  29. Joan Treppa says:

    Three years ago I began my journey as an advocate for the release of five men who are serving life sentences in Wisconsin prisons for a murder that they did not commit. http://WWW.SIXINNOCENTMEN.COM This injustice has prevailed for close to 20 years and the details are repeated all too often; there was no evidence to support a conviction and jail house snitch testimony was used and regarded as reliable. Additionally, there were many illegal tactics used by the authorities in this case to get it solved quickly including glossing over evidence that could create reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, the powers that be obtained solid convictions which have resisted reversals despite repeated appeals and parole hearings over the years. Even though multiple families have been destroyed needlessly, it has never mattered to the authorities in this case. There is no way that they will ever admit to any wrong doing…ever! Part of reducing the prison population has to involve reforming law enforcement practices and keeping a close eye on what they are doing during investigations because of the fact the reversals are next to impossible to achieve let alone very expensive and almost always unaffordable to the families. Although there are countless ways to reduce the prison population, there are just as many ways, if not more, to incarcerate and many of those practices, illegal or not, are used often and worldwide. These practices have to stop! Jury reform is another area we need to address. My question is this: Why are 12 people in a jury box allowed to and even encouraged to come back with a guilty verdict when it is so blatantly clear that there was absolute doubt with no evidence to support a conviction?? It is estimated that currently 10% of our prison population alone consists of innocent people. We need to ask ourselves why is this so and why are the people that we are supposed to be able to trust, using illegal practices in order to incarcerate and why are they able to stay in power?? Where is the fact checking for attorneys and judges as well, as they play a vital role in supporting these practices and they repeatedly abuse their power to further careers and keep the prison “businesses” full and profitable?? I’m not a professional in the legal system but I can see how badly it needs to change! I support wholeheartedly, organizations such as this one who are willing to become part of the solution to promote reform for this badly flawed system.

  30. Theresa Dillard says:

    I support the 11×15 campaign. We have way to many people locked down here in Wisconsin. We must come together as one unit to break down the continuing “corruption” by those who have the “power” to lock down those we love and care about.

  31. Justin Feezor says:

    I fully and firmly support the 11×15 program. The benefits seem very apparent. I can personally testify to the effectiveness of rehabilitation versus incarceration. I have been through both scenarios and not only have i ceased to use drugs and alcohol, but have also been given the resources to deal with my underlying psychological, emotional and family issues which caused me to use in the first place. As a result of my sobriety I no longer commit crimes and am stable. It has given me the opportunity to work and pay taxes. Having me put through this type of rehabilitation has no doubt saved tax payers a significant sum of money and well continue to do so into the future. Thank you to all who support. The numbers speak for themselves. Keep up the good work. I am willing to help in any way possible.

  32. Beth says:

    I have not had the opportunity to review the presentation, but reading the words written as an interduction, I agree and support the focus behind this campaign. I have witnessed first hand the obsurd and unjust actions of the judicial system in this state. Something does have to be done. People with mental health issues will not stop having those issues without support and help. People will continue to go back to their addictions without the support and education on how to change their behaviors. Something needs to be done and if I can do anything to help, I will try.

  33. shirley de lorme says:

    Can someone tell me why the letter I forwarded fromKeith Kutska a month and a half ago has not been published?

    Thank you!

    Shirley De Lorme

  34. Victoria Knox says:

    I visit someone at GBCI. This is someone I met after he was locked up. My heart went out to him when he was on trial. I had to do something. He is such a wonderful person and does not deserve to be there. Yes, he made a mistake but he deserves a second chance. Like a lot of inmates. They need help wth how to deal with life on the outside. We need to do something to help!

  35. Virginia says:

    Thank you for your question Shirley. These type letters are given to an author who is working with WISDOM. She goes through them and posts those that seem the most inclusive of issues inmates are having while in the system. These are found on the Stories from the System tab of this web site. We can not advocate for any one person; only work to change the systems and let people know that these are real people not just numbers in the system. They also give us real stories when working with legislators to help legislators understand and hopefully work with us for the changes we are trying to make. When you see a story or letter in one of the threads, it has been entered either by the person them-self, or another, for them. We encourage inmates to write their truthful stories of what caused them to be in the system; how it has changed theirs life and the lives of their families; difficulties they have had in the system; what they feel about the future for themselves when they are released; and any support programs they feel that they will need. We ask the story be mailed to the WISDOM Office, because people tend to skip over long posts.

  36. I had an opportunity to sit in on the drug and alcohol court last Friday in Winnebago county. what a wonderful experience to see 15 young adults show up and work the program. The excitement in the court room for all the success stories was overwhelming. Judge Scott Woldt is making a difference to these young adults and their road to recovery. It does go to show that treatment instead of prison is making a difference. We need many more programs in our counties to help those that will help themselves if given the proper programs.

  37. Barbara Foote Myles says:

    I have a son whom is incarcerated and has been for 12 years. The court case was very ugly in that the witnesses came to court on drugs and admitted it while under oath. Yes! There was also some witnesses (a mature older couple) who testified in my sons behalf based on what happened the night of the said crime and their testimony was ignored. The other person involved in the incident got about 7 years I believe and my son received almost life you could say. I would love to have someone look into his case and see if he could be looking at getting out soon in lieu of the unfairness which took place at his hearing. I know without a doubt his life has been reversed and he will be doing life differently then before. Someone hear my cry~~

  38. Jean Valjean says:

    P.S. If you have not already done so, please read Robert J. Morgan’s very well expressed post above.

    A quote that sticks with me: “The reality – Prisons don’t teach people to live in ‘Society, they teach them how to live in prison – they don’t teach them to be good citizens – but rather good ‘Inmates’”

    Well said, Mr. Morgan.

  39. Kate says:

    For addicts who are ready to turn their lives around, Drug Court can be the best answer. A drug court program provides counseling, direction, accountability; it requires work, school, and/or community service; and it gives structure to lives that have been out of control. It’s certainly more economical and effective than prison for non-violent offenders.

  40. Marsha Brewer says:

    To reduce number of current prisoners, we need to find ways to provide what was formerly called “good time”. Take a look at: “Dane County Time Bank” and Time Bank USA websites as an example of a time bank. There could be a non-violent, ex-offender time bank to do volunteer community service, sometimes called a “feed forward” program. The volunteerism could begin within the prisons, with participation in prison work and school programs, drug and alcohol and codependents anonymous programs, and not having prison infractions, and community work such as letter writing campaigns for outside charity and advocacy groups craft projects for outside groups. Then later participation, in outside of prison community volunteer work, such as what prisoners call “camps”, which may take them outside to do environmental service projects, under supervision. Then later to volunteer work during the probation time period.

  41. Mark AnthonyRuddy says:

    As a mentor for two men in Eau Claire County’s Mental Health Court (MHC), an alternative to jail, I know such treatment courts are successful because all participants are part of a caring team; the common goal being no more offenses. The team highlights the importance of truthfulness This is a 180 degree difference from the traditional, adversarial, punishment-focused legal approach. Alternatives like this MHC are treatment/rehabilitation driven, and are weekly monitored by an approachable judge, also a team member. I often see offenders understand this for the first time; I see the light bulb above their heads: “you’re not here to control me, you’re actually here to help me”! Each offender learns what their core issues are, and the broadly-skilled treatment team matches them with growth opportunities, gives support, gives praise, gives sanctions when necessary – all focused on not offending again.

  42. Keep up the excellent efforts toward the goal and let’s join our prayers for success.

  43. Diane Block says:

    Does anyone out there know the average time a prisoner serves prior to release or parole. And how does that compare to the average time served before 1995?

  44. Jim Lloyd says:

    I am the Executive Director for the Marninette / Menominee Jail Outreach. We are an all volunteer group of 40 members from various churches and demoninations. We visit inmates every Monday night at the Marinette County Jail, Marinette WI and the Menominee County Jail, Menominee MI. Our purpose is to help the inmates deal with the issues related to their incarceration. We also have a support group for former offenders that meets every Friday night in Marinette WI. The purpose of the support group is to help former offenders find jobs, housing and connect with other former offenders that are making an effort to change their lives. We have a serious heroin problem in this area and we are averaging one death per month due to drug overdose.
    Our biggest issue here is lack of housing for released inmates and affordable drug rehab. Inmates are released and if they have no place to go they end up with their old friends and they repeat the cyle of incarcerations. I recently started a support group for families of the addicted called Nar-Anon (not affiliated with the Jail Outreach). Nar-Anon is a worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone else’s addiction. We offer our help by sharing our experiences, strength and hope – anonymously. Families of the addicted need healing as well. We are praying for the 11×15 initiative and God Bless you for your efforts.

  45. Cassandra Dixon, Mary House of Hospitality says:

    Mary House is a small Catholic Worker house of Hospitality which serves the visiting families of prisoners incarcerated in the federal prison at Oxford in Central Wisconsin. In the 25 plus years i’ve lived here i’ve seen hundreds of children who had to travel in order to maintain connection to fathers and grandfathers in FCI Oxford. While there may be some differences between the federal prison system and Wisconsin’s, the impact of the incarceration of a family member on children is universal, tragic, and in the great majority of cases preventable. Hats off to Wisdom for launching a campaign to address the suffering of some of the 1.6 american children currently growing up with a parent in prison or jail!

  46. Nancy Madden says:

    I have a son has been in the legal system since he was 18 for a minor sexual offence that he committed as a minor (but since he was a very immature adult when it was discovered) he was tried as an adult. His 90 Day Huber sentence has evolved to 3 years in prison without a reoffence. In the last 9 years I have learned a lot about the Wis legal system & here are my thoughts on what should be changed:
    1. The truth in sentencing law needs to be changed. As it is there is no incentive to work for early release & that is the main reason the prison population has tripled.
    2. Probation agents should not have sole control of the persons life on probation or parole, and women should NEVER have sexual offenders as their parolees.
    3 The stigma of this offense needs to be removed. As it is most offenders are on a state list that anyone can see & make their own decisions about the offender; most sities have made it so difficult for offenders to acquire housing that agents are telling them to not tell the landlord that they are offenders; and finally they cannot find employment or education because of the stigma.
    I could go on & on, and this is just sexual offenders. We need to let the government & anyone else that will listen that changes need to be made. Jesus spent his time on earth ministering to these people & so should we.

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