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Treatment Instead of Prison Task Force

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Below are some actions and events that move us toward our goal of treatment instead of prison related to drug and alcohol offenses for non-violent offenders.  We are working to gain additional funding to support treatment and alternatives to incarceration. Unless otherwise noted, events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Lisa Hanneman.

“No Vacancy” – Less Incarceration: Smart Criminal Justice Reform

Monday, October 21, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
St. Bernard Catholic Church, 1617 Pine St, Appleton

IssueCover of Rep. Evan Goyke's No Vacancy Plan

Do we build more prisons and/or send people to out-of-state institutions at a high cost to taxpayers, or do we institute reform?

State Rep. Evan Goyke, District 18, Milwaukee, will make the case for criminal justice reform. This can be done in a smart way that will benefit our corrections system, save tax-payer dollars, reduce crime and increase public safety.

Presentation & Panel Discussion on:

Invest in Neighborhoods
Prevent Homelessness
Pay for Crime Reduction Without Raising Taxes
Reduce Prison Admissions
Increase Prison Releases
Increase Success on Supervision

Megan Novak, Legislative Dir., Americans for Prosperity
Bernie Vetrone, Dir., Outagamie Cty. Criminal Justice Treatment Services
Melissa Ludin, Expert Lived Experience & Regional Organizer ACLU Smart Justice
State Rep. Evan Goyke, Milwaukee District 18

Read about Rep. Goyke’s Plan here.

Mental Health Task Force

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Friday, September 6, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Angies Main Café, 132 S Main St, Shawano, WI


All Voices Welcome!


Friday, September 6th, 2019 6:00-7:30PM

Angies Main Café
132 S. Main Street

Families with children having emotional or cognitive disabilities who need advocacy in school, and people who have been formerly incarcerated, or families with loved ones who are incarcerated should attend this meeting. Your feedback is important!

Investing in Wisconsin's Future through Criminal Justice Reform

Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
FVTC-Oshkosh Riverside Campus, 150 N Campbell Rd, Oshkosh / Room #133

Investing in Wisconsin’s FutureThe purpose of this event is show how a Wisconsin future that benefits all Wisconsinites requires criminal justice reform in our state. The event will cover critical issues like:

  • Barriers to employment following incarceration
  • The Wisconsin epidemic of crimeless revocation – the process by which thousands of Wisconsin residents are sent to prison each year despite not having committed a crime

There will also be an informative panel discussion featuring individuals directly impacted by the criminal justice system and people working for change on both sides of the political aisle.

RSVP appreciated but not required:

Cosponsored by ACLU of Wisconsin, as part of its Smart Justice campaign, and ESTHER’s Prison Reform Task Force.

Help spread the word: Download and share the attached flyer.

Prison Reform Task Force Meeting Summary - 1 July 2019

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Lisa Hanneman, chair of ESTHER’s Prison Reform Task Force, shares a brief video report on the Committee’s July 1, 2019, meeting. The August meeting will be held on Monday, August 5, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 140 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah.

Listen to Brian Defferding and Josh Dukelow on WHBY’s Fresh Take

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Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 10:00am - 11:00am
WHBY Radio 1150 AM, 103.5 FM, 106.3 FM

brian defferding (from Facebook)Winnebago County Board member Brian Defferding will be a guest on June 6 on Josh Dukelow’s “Fresh Take” program on WHBY radio. Brian is a member of the ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force and his topics of conversation with Dukelow will include hopes for a Mental Health Court for Winnebago County. If you are unable to listen to the live broadcast, the program will be recorded and available for listening on the Fresh Take website

ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force

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Monday, July 1, 2019 - 6:00pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Green Bay Road, Neenah

Contact Gov. Evers on Good Friday About the Parole Commission!

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We are pleased to share this request from David Liners, executive director of WISDOM, on behalf of parole-eligible people in our state prisons.

telephone iconGovernor Evers has been in office for more than three months. In that time, he has done a lot. But, he has NOT yet appointed a new Chair for the Parole Commission. And he has NOT yet named members of the Pardon Board. Loved ones and family members of the 3,000 parole-eligible people in our prisons have been patient. But, as their loved ones have waited far too long to be released, so we also have waited far too long for the Governor to keep the campaign promises he made about these important parts of his job.

Read more to find out two simple things you can do this Friday, April 19.

Panel Discussion: Life After Prison

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
First Congregational U.C.C., 724 E South River St, Appleton

Join us for a Panel Discussion


How do we create a successful transition into society
for released inmates?


Douglas DarbyDouglas Darby, recovering addict and founder, Rise Together Eugene NelsonEugene Nelson, outreach coordinator, Project Return Melissa LudinMelissa Ludin, Vice President, EXPO (EX-incarcerated People Organizing) John Des JardinsJohn Des Jardins, Judge, Outagamie County

Free to attend. Panel followed by refreshments.

Panel hosted and moderated by Sydney Pittner, Discovery Corps Coach and senior at Valley New School.

For more information, contact

Justice for Youth: New Directions

Monday, February 4, 2019 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Copper Rock Coffee Co, 210 W College Ave, Appleton

League of Women Voters of Appleton

Jonathan I. CloudYouth Advocacy Educational Forum

Please note new date, time, and location.

Jonathan Cloud, a 33-year human services veteran, will speak on research findings on brain development and effects of childhood trauma on youth behavior. This research has led to new strategies and changes to training on how juveniles should be treated in juvenile justice programs. Cloud is the author of Parenting the Guardian Class: Validating Spirited Youth, Ending Adolescence, and Renewing America’s Greatness, which argues for empowering youth rather than controlling them. This educational forum will provide background for the Youth Advocacy Consensus meeting, to be held on Wednesday February 6.

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