Tips for Letters to the Editor

Expanded 11×15 Powerpoint Presentation

What one prosecutor can do about the mass incarceration of African Americans.

What is Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections Hiding?

From our Compassionate Release Task Force:

Our Affiliate organizations across the stat have advocated successfully for drug courts (and other specialty courts).

Washington Post Editorial: Too Many American Lives Are Thrown Away in Solitary Confinement

Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System  The Sentencing Project has released a new report highlighting practical initiatives in more than 20 states designed to address the criminal justice system’s high rate of contact with people of color.  “Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System” provides a comprehensive review of programs and policies across the nation and identifies a broad range of sensible reforms that can address racial disparities at all levels of the criminal justice system.
Read the full report:

The Report is in! TAD Works!!

Ex. Summary. Participant Outcomes and Cost‐Benefit Report, 2007‐2013
TAD. 2007-2013 Outcomes and Cost Benefit Report, August, 2014

TAD. 2007-2013. Data-by-site

Targeted TAD Expansion needed for 2015-17

An Open Letter to Corrections Secretary

An open letter to Governor Walker
“…The abuse of solitary confinement in Wisconsin has been an open secret. Secretary Ed Wall knows about it. Wardens know about it, the prison medical staff know about it, correctional officers know about it, and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau knows about it. Now you, Governor Walker, know about it…”

Tell the Governor you know about it too!

What Governor Walker needs to do:

  • Immediately request a prompt, independent investigation by the US Department of Justice of abuses in the segregation unit in Waupun, and make the findings public;
  • Immediately transfer the officer named in the majority of the complaints from inmates in the segregation unit at Waupun to other duties until the investigation is completed, and give your personal guarantee that no prisoner will be subject to further abuse as retribution for cooperating with investigations;
  • Immediately order the Department of Corrections to implement some basic reforms, including:
  1. Implementation in men’s prisons of the successful mental health units that now exist for women at Taycheedah;
  2. Ordering that correctional officers must be rotated from segregation units to other units every three months;
  3. Ordering that all Correctional officers be given better training in how to deal with difficult prisoners;
  4. Implementation of an independent inmate complaint system and a way for staff to safely report other staff.

“…This torture is no longer a secret. These inmates are not alone and their mistreatment is not unnoticed. You and Secretary Wall will be held accountable for any more deaths or abuse of inmates in solitary.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Strength for the StruggleJoe.Ellwanger

Joe Ellwanger’s new book, “Strength for the Struggle”, is now available.  It is a powerful memoir of insights from his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement and Urban Ministry.  For details and to purchase your copy, click here:  Joe is a retired ELCA Pastor, former President of MICAH and WISDOM Organizer Emeritus.



The long-awaited report on the Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD) program is out. This is the program we worked for and got into the state budget about 6 years ago. Part of the law was that there needed to be a study of the efficacy and the impacts of the programs funded through TAD. This is that report. It confirms everything we have suspected, and this should be a great help as we move forward with the 11X15 campaign. I should also point out that our very own Gwen Gibson and Jerome Dillard have served on the TAD Advisory Committee.


The Office of Justice Assistance has released an evaluation of the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program covering January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2010. The program was originally established in seven counties. 2011 WI Act 32 allowed for ongoing funding and expansion to at least one new project site in 2012.

A total of 2,061 offenders were admitted to TAD in the four year period, with 1,856 discharged and 1,191 completing. TAD diversion projects had a completion rate of 66% and TAD treatment courts had a graduation rate of 55%. All seven TAD projects (BurnettCounty,WashburnCounty,WoodCounty,RockCounty,Milwaukee County,WashingtonCounty, andDaneCounty) had benefits to cost ratio of 1.93, or for every $1 spent a $1.93 benefit to the criminal justice system according to the report. The three diversion programs (Milwaukee County,WashingtonCounty, andDaneCounty) yielded a 2.08 ratio, with the four treatment courts yielding 1.35.

The TAD Advisory Committee made 15 recommendations for improvement to the TAD programs which may be found in the report.

Office of Justice Assistance Letter:

Evaluation Summary: tad-2011-evaluation-report-exec-summary
Complete Evaluation Report:

MASS Incarceration and Criminal Justice in America : The New Yorker

Ways To Start A Conversation About 11×15
A resource of information and talking points to begin a conversation in your organization, group, or with your friends. PFD Looking For A Way To Start A Conversation About 11×15

11 x 15 PowerPoint Presentation
This is the PowerPoint that WISDOM leaders have been using to give 11×15 presentations in their congregations and communities. 11X15 Powerpoint Feb 2012

Successful, bipartisan criminal justice reform initiatives adopted in conservative states.
ACLU report: Promising Beginnings: Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform in Key States.

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