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Transformational Justice

Transformational Justice Task Force

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 the chair, Lisa Hanneman.

Circles of Support Can Help

Community Circles of SupportHelping individuals successfully return to the community after incarceration in prison or jail is the mission of Circles of Support.* Through weekly meetings or individual contacts, volunteers from all walks of life meet with men and women who have been incarcerated to provide support and help to them in dealing with everyday challenges they face in returning to the community. The meetings provide a positive, non-judgmental environment which focusses on individual strengths and the future.

Information about community resources is provided by the participants and volunteers.  Discussions about challenges focus on problem-solving and helping individuals explore effective options that might work for them. Participation is voluntary and there is no cost. Success is celebrated.

A variety of meeting times and places are available in Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, and Neenah-Menasha. Participants describe the groups as a “caring family environment,” a place to get useful community resource information, and a non-judgmental, trusting and respectful setting that gives them hope.

Anyone interested in being involved as a participant or volunteer can connect by calling (920) 840-2918 or emailing  A volunteer will contact you personally to answer any questions.

*ESTHER is the fiscal sponsor of Circles of Support.

Film Screening: The Invisible Class

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - 6:00pm
First Congregational Church, 137 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh

Casa Esther Catholic Worker, ESTHER, Trinity Episcopal Church Oshkosh, and
First Congregational Church Oshkosh present
a screening of The Invisible Class.

The Invisible Class - Documentary FilmThis powerful film is about homelessness all across America, its criminalization and the devastating impacts of the loss of affordable housing. Mass homelessness in the United States didn’t always exist, so how did we get to where we are today?

The screening is free and open to the public. Cash and material donations will be collected (see more below).

Doors open at 5:30.

Talkback and refreshments to follow.

ESTHER Brings Solitary Confinement Cell Replica to Appleton

Special thanks to Fran Nelson for this report on the Transformational Justice Task Force’s Appleton event featuring a replica solitary confinement cell.

Talib Akbar with replica solitary confinement cell he builtESTHER’s Transformational Justice Task Force organized an educational event and public tour bringing an exact replica of a Solitary Confinement Cell to Appleton on May 11 and 12, 2023.  The replica was designed and built by Talib Akbar, a formerly incarcerated man, who has brought it to communnities around the state. This event was meant to increase awareness of the harm of solitary confinement in Wisconsin prisons.

In Appleton, Akbar explained to many citizens and public administrators the severe impact of prolonged isolation (used on both male and female prisoners), including the mentally ill. Akbar was placed in isolation ten different times—the longest was almost two years—during his 20 years in Wisconsin prisons. (More than 15 days in isolation has been defined as torture by the United Nations since 2011.)

Soliltary Confinement Cell Tour

Thursday, May 11, 2023 - 10:00am - 6:00pm
Friday, May 12, 2023 - 10:00am - 6:00pm
St. Joseph Catholic Church, 404 W Lawrence St, Appleton

This event is on both Thursday, May 11 from 10 am - 6 pm and Friday, May 12 from 10 am - 6 pm
To schedule a group or class to experience the cell, contact us at 920-843-8083 or


Tuesday, January 3, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, July 4, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, August 1, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, September 5, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, October 3, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, November 7, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, December 5, 2023 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Most Blessed Sacrament Church 448 High Avenue Oshkosh

We will be serving food & beverage, and child supervision is available for school-age children. In addition, rides can be arranged. All are welcome! Come join us and let's reimagine justice in Winnebago County!

If you have any questions, contact Marianne Oleson at

ESTHER Transformational Justice Task Force

Monday, January 2, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, February 6, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, March 6, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, April 3, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, May 1, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, June 5, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, July 3, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, August 7, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, September 11, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, October 2, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, November 6, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, December 4, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 140 South Green Bay Road, Neenah

Meets in person first Monday of each month from 6:00-7:30 pm. (The September meeting is held on the second Monday.)

Leave us a message at with questions or to be added to the mailing list.

“We can’t punish people into being healthy. We need for families to stay intact and for offenders to be responsible to their communities. We are all better off when people can be healed and made whole through these effective programs that bring accountability to the offender and to the community. Alternative treatment programs work better than incarceration.”

ESTHER is part of the statewide ROC WI (Restore Our Communities) Campaign. The campaign is a movement of people of faith calling for change in the Wisconsin system of incarceration.

Governor listening sessions

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 - 6:00pm

More you can do for Transformational Justice.  The Governor is hosting Listening Sessions. Here are the two possibilities---one virtual, one local.  You can register now:  More details will be coming soon and, if you are registered you'll get those details.

Virtual Budget Listening Session 
Wednesday, December 14, at 6 p.m. 
Register to attend via Zoom here

Budget Listening Session in Green Bay 
Tuesday, December 20, at 5:30 p.m. 
Register to attend here

Please register for one if you can, and encourage others to do the same.  It is most helpful for each individual to focus on one thing (like TAD funding, or any of the other things listed in the transformational justice launch--see above story).  It is extra helpful if you have a testimony to share (even if you are not an "impacted" person,if you share why you care, it makes your testimony more powerful.


Follow-up for Transformational Justice Campaign Launch

The December 8 Transformational Justice Launch event in Madison was very energizing and productive. 
The day began with a panel that gave an overview of much of the work on Transformational Justice.  It includes important stories by people who have been formerly incarcerating, highlighting needs for changes. This panel presentation was covered by Wisconsin Eye, and can be seen here:   (It will ask you to subscribe to Wisconsin Eye.  There is no cost for that; it mostly just gets you on their mailing list).

The principal aims of the Transformational Justice Campaign are:

  • Invest in programs and strategies that will end the racial and economic disparities that fuel mass incarceration in Wisconsin
  • Reduce our prison population to 11,000, and reduce the number of people on extended supervision.
  • Justice Reinvestment: Allocate money, especially savings from reduced incarceration, to building up communities that have been most harmed by mass incarceration.
  • View people who have been convicted of a crime as human beings, members of families, and assets to the community.
  • Restore formerly incarcerated people to full participation in communities, the economy and civic life.   

                                                       See a list of issues that are prominent in the campaign. . . .

Transformational Justice Campaign Launch

Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
Capitol Building and nearby, Madison, WI

Transformational Justice Campaign Launch

2023 and Beyond

State Capitol and nearby, Madison, WI

Register at

Email if you are interested in carpooling to Madison.

Watch recorded video of the first hour of the program here
Sponsored by WISDOM, FREE and EXPO


10 - 11 AM
Public presentation at the North Hearing Room in the State Capitol featuring remarks on Solitary Confinement, TAD, Old Law Parole, and Post-release Issues. Video of this is segment is available here.
1-2 PM
Start of Transformational Justice Convening: Welcome, Reflection, Icebreaker
11 AM - 12 PM
Drop Lit at Legislative offices and the Governor’s Office in the Stated Capitol
2-3 PM
Breakout Sessions by region: Madison Action Day and Joint Finance Committee hearings discussion
12 - 1 PM
Lunch at Grace Episcopal Church, 116 W Washington Ave, Madison
3-4 PM
- Breakout sessions: strategic planning for issue campaigns
- Closing remarks and calls to action

Help spread the word. Download and share the attached flier.

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