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Prison Reform 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 the chair, Lisa Hanneman.

Vigil regarding COVID-19 in Wisconsin Prisons

WISDOM

Demonstrators at the Governors Mansion in MadisonOn October 19, WISDOM members (including several from ESTHER), led by EXPO (EX-incarcerated People Organizing) and SIP (Supporters of Incarcerated People) started a vigil outside the Governor's mansion.  The purpose of the vigil is to challenge the Governor to seriously address the issue of COVID-19 in Wisconsin’s prisons. The group is calling on the Governor to hold a press conference to specifically address this issue, which directly impacts more than 30,000 Wisconsinites who live and work in the state’s prisons.

We hope take action soon, but we want to be prepared for the long haul. Read more to find out what you can do to keep this issue high on the Governor’s agenda.

ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force

Posted in
Date: 
Monday, September 14, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: 
Zoom Meeting

Leave us a message at https://esther-foxvalley.org/prtf to receive the Zoom link.

Call to Action: Gov. Evers and Wisconsin Prison Population

WISDOM

Recently, Gov. Tony Evers offered a powerful statement about how we should respond to the Black Lives Matter movement.  He said, “We must offer our compassion, we must offer our support, most of all we must offer our action.”  Now, we are asking you to contact Governor Evers to urge him to take his own advice. It is time for him to take action to reduce the prison population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Communicate with Governor Evers to express your concern and to urge him to act!

Call his office, 608-266-1212
Email him at govinfo@wisconsin.gov

Summer of Solidarity Training Session: “Extended Supervision”

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Date: 
Saturday, August 1, 2020 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

These are weekly Zoom meetings sponsored by WISDOM and EXPO covering community organizing approaches and social justice topics of concern in the state and region during the summer of 2020.

This Friday, July 31, Human Rights Watch will issue a national report on issues related to “Extended Supervision.” The report singles out Wisconsin as a state very much in need of reform - something EXPO and WISDOM have been trying to get attention to for years!  The principal author of the Human Rights Watch report will join us on Saturday, August 1, as will some members of EXPO. who will give first-hand accounts of the impact of excessive “supervision,” crimeless revocation, and the like.

To register, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrfuyurT0rH9T5AlFJKe4am0Ge7PEhEWLB.  As soon as you register, you will get an email back with the link to join the meeting on Saturday.

Tentative schedule of future topics:

  • August 8 – Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women
  • August 15 – Policing
  • August 22 – Environmental Justice

If you would like to participate, contact WISDOM (wisdomforjustice@gmail.com) for information about registering for the Zoom presentation.

Presentations are being recorded, and will be available at: https://www.rocwisconsin.org/summer-of-solidarity-training-series/

Summer of Solidarity Training Session: The FREE Campaign

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Date: 
Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

This week’s Summer of Solidarity session offers an opportunity to meet some of the powerful women of the FREE campaign, to learn about the issue of Housing for Women Returning from Incarceration, and to learn how we can all help.

Saturday, July 18
10:00 - Noon
Register at  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsc-2tqTsrGNGwyDBkKOkfLIKjpeAV2sgj 
When you do, you will get an email with a link to join the meeting on Saturday.

Leaders from MICAH, EXPO and WISDOM have worked in recent years to establish the FREE Campaign.  FREE is an initiative specifically of, by and for women who have experienced incarceration.  Recently, FREE got a big boost in the form of a generous grant from the Wheaton Fransiscan Sisters, which has allowed them to hire staff specifically for the campaign.

After hundreds of conversations with women who have returned from jails or prisons, FREE has discerned that HOUSING is their top issue of concern.  It is especially important for women who are trying to reunite their families, and who cannot do so without first establishing that they have safe, stable, decent places to live for themselves and their children.

Summer of Solidarity: Immigrant Detention Centers

Date: 
Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Webinar

These are weekly Zoom meetings sponsored by WISDOM and EXPO covering community-organizing approaches and social justice topics of concern in the state and region during the summer of 2020.

In WISDOM, we have been bringing attention to the fact that there are many, many men and women who ought not be in our jails and prisons, especially in the time of a global pandemic. This coming Saturday, we will be looking at another group of our brothers and sisters who ought not be in cages in the first place, but who are at special risk for COVID-19. And, we will learn how we in Wisconsin have a special responsibility for them.

To register for this session, click here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcrcu-hrz8tE9OXjy5VZKEnNaEcFf3Insq2

After registering, you will receive a link to use when joining the meeting on Saturday morning.

This past Saturday's Summer of Solidarity program, about Racism in Suburban Schools, was attended by more than 100 people.  Let's keep that momentum going.  We will be free when all of us are free.

Tentative schedule of future topics:

  • July 11 – Transportation
  • July 18 – Housing for Women Returning from Incarceration
  • July 25 – Voting and Voting Rights
  • August 1 – Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women
  • August 8 – Crimeless Revocations
  • August 15 – Policing
  • August 22 – Environmental Justice

If you would like to participate in any of these, contact WISDOM (wisdomforjustice@gmail.com) for information about registering for the Zoom presentation.

Presentations are being recorded, and will be available at: https://www.rocwisconsin.org/summer-of-solidarity-training-series/

Wisconsin Prisons and COVID-19 - A Zoom Meeting

Posted in
Date: 
Saturday, June 6, 2020 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: 
Zoom Teleconference

Other states have begun reducing their prison populations during the Pandemic. Doing so reduces overcrowding and creates at least the possibility for “social distancing” in the prisons. In fact, some states have reduced  populations so much that they have announced they will be able to close entire facilities when the pandemic is over.

WISDOM LogoAfter some initial positive steps, Governor Evers has taken no further action. Even as we learn that nearly half the men imprisoned at the Waupun prison have contracted COVID-19, he has remained silent.

Join others in the WISDOM network this Saturday to learn more about this urgent crisis in Wisconsin prisons, and what we can do about it.  Help us to plan a major day of action on June 18, to remind Governor Evers that he is responsible for ALL Wisconsin residents, including the people who live and work in our prisons.

To join us on Saturday, please register on Zoom at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtd-2srTwtE9NxeAbnXXl8YWWYarsQWC8D

This program is part of the WISDOM Summer of Solidarity series of interactive webinars.

COVID-19 in Wisconsin Prisons: A Day of Action on May 20

View of State Capitol from DroneA Call to Action from WISDOM Executive Director David Liners:

Dear WISDOM Leaders,

This Wednesday (May 20) at 11 am, it will be time for WISDOM to Storm the Capitol. That is when we need everyone who is concerned about the health of the people in our prisons to contact Governor Evers. Let him know that this is the time to use the authority he has as Governor to safely reduce our prison population by at least 25%, starting with the elderly, the sick, those who pose no danger to society, and those who are due to come home soon anyway.

Please sign up here: https://forms.gle/ANMkArvsCqTPqcLPA

On the form, you can let us know how you will contact the Governor – by e-mail, by phone, on Facebook, or any way you are comfortable. We will send you back some ideas: talking points, memes, facts, that you can incorporate into your message.

Please share this with others. We need the Governor to understand that there are thousands of us, from all parts of the state, who are very concerned about the inevitable spread of COVID-19 in our prisons, endangering incarcerated people as well as the thousands of people who work in the prisons.

A recent report by the Legislative Reference Bureau made it very clear that Governor Evers has the authority to commute sentences, to grant pardons, and even to defer punishment – and that his authority is only limited by his own policies. You can read that report here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lrb/lrb_reports/prisoners_emergency_release_4_7.pdf

So, please sign up, please spread the word, and please take action on Wednesday at 11 am to STORM THE CAPITOL.

David Liners
WISDOM
414) 736-2099

ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force

Posted in
Date: 
Monday, May 4, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: 
Zoom Meeting
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