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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.

State Superintendent Candidates Townhall

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Zoom Meeting

State Superintendents Downhill - Kerr-UnderlyYou're invited to join EXPO for a

State Superintendent Candidates Townhall
“Ending the School to Prison Pipeline”

March 10, 2021 from 6:30-7:30 PM
Watch on Zoom or the EXPO Facebook Page
Sign up here

EXPO Wisconsin will talk with Deb Kerr and Dr. Jill Underly, WI Candidates for State Superintendent, about their ideas for ending the school to prison pipeline.

  • In School vs. Out of School Suspensions
  • Expulsions
  • Police Presence in our School
  • Racial Bias & More

These are all things that have created - and continue to create - a feeder for mass incarceration in our state and country.

How do we end it? We start at the polls by making informed decisions about who we put in charge of our children's academic lives. Please join us for this important discussion. Sign up here.

Help spread the word - download and share the attached flier.

Demolishing the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Wisconsin

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Zoom Meeting


How do we end mass incarceration in Wisconsin?

By cutting off its food source: juveniles!

As we prepare to elect the next State School Superintendent, please join us for a timely discussion. 

Wednesday, February 10
6:30-8:00 PM
On Zoom: Click here to REGISTER

We will cover:

  • What is the school to prison pipeline?
  • How do we most effectively dismantle it?
  • How do we as parents, educators and beloved-community members protect our children from entering a system that turns into a life sentence?

Memorial for COVID Victims in Wisconsin Prisons

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 5:30pm
State Prisons Around Wisconsin

For incarcerated lives lost to COVID Candlelight VigilPresident-elect Biden has asked the nation to mark a national COVID victims memorial on the eve of the Inauguration. See here for more about the memorial. WISDOM and EXPO leaders will lead Memorial Services in front of seven of the 14 Wisconsin prisons in which men and women have died of the virus. Prisons at which vigils will be held are listed below.

Details for all locations are the same:

Tuesday, January 19
5:30 pm
Masks are required and social distancing will be honored

Please bring your own candle.

Please try to arrive by 5:15.

The memorial services will be brief and prayerful.

ESTHER Prison Reform Task Force

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Monday, February 1, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, March 1, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, April 5, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, May 3, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, June 7, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, July 5, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, August 2, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, September 6, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, November 1, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Monday, December 6, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Zoom Meeting

Meets the first Monday of each month from 6:00-7:30 pm.

Now meeting by Zoom teleconference. Leave us a message at to be added to the mailing list or receive the Zoom link.

“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.

Integrating Trauma-Responsive Practices Into the Workplace

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Monday, January 4, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Zoom Meeting

This presentation is the program for the January 2021 meeting of ESTHER’s Prison Reform Task Force.

The meeting features a presentation by Bill Harrigan of Harrigan Solutions, Grafton, WI. He will describe how his company integrates trauma-responsive practices into the workplace.

This meeting will be conducted on Zoom. There is no charge, and all are welcome. Advance registration is required, and a link to the meeting will be sent to all registrants.

Register Now

Candlelight Vigil: COVID-19 Deaths in Wisconsin Prisons

Monday, December 21, 2020 - 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Governor’s Mansion, 99 Cambridge Rd, Madison


Please join us on December 21 at 6:00 pm in Madison for a Candlelight Vigil to remember those who have died of COVID-19 in our state prisons.

We know that at least 19 people have died in Wisconsin prisons since the pandemic began. We believe there are probably more. We know that, as of this week, almost HALF of all people in prison have tested positive for COVID-19, in contrast to less than 10% of the overall population. We have no way of knowing how many of them have become seriously ill. We also know that hundreds of corrections workers have contracted the virus. Meanwhile, the Governor has not acted to offer clemency, to commute sentences or to release very low-risk people – so that others might have a chance to socially distance – even though his power to do so is clear.

December 21 is the longest night of the year. Let us gather to pray and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in prison. If you cannot join us, please take a moment at 6 pm Monday to remember those who have died, those who are sick, and those who have the power and the responsibility to care for the people in our prisons.

Governor’s Budget Listening Session

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 6:00pm
Zoom Meeting

Budget Listening Session on Criminal Justice Reform

Governor Evers is holding virtual listening sessions as he prepares his 2021-23 State Budget proposal.  Wisconsinites are encouraged to offer their thoughts and recommendations for the Governor to consider.

To be allowed to participate, you need to register. You can do so at the Governor's website here. You can watch the live-stream on Wis-Eye here.

You can also submit written comments or suggestions here.

There will be a WISDOM Zoom meeting on December 8 at 5:00 pm (the hour before the Governor’s “Criminal Justice” listening session), specifically to talk about WISDOM’s priorities for criminal justice reform in the coming state budget. If you would like to join that Zoom in order to prepare for the Listening Session, please email to receive the link. Among other things, WISDOM wants the Governor to:

  • keep his campaign promise to increase Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD) funding by $15 million per year
  • pledge that there will be no money for new prisons or for prison expansions
  • plan for the closing of the Green Bay Correctional Institution and redirect that money to a Justice Reinvestment Fund that can go to programs that benefit the people and communities that have been most badly hurt by mass incarceration.

Department of Corrections Virtual Town Hall

Posted in
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 9:30am - 11:00am
Virtual Meeting

Wisconsin DOC - Violation Response & Revocation

“Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops” Free Virtual Showing

Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 6:30pm
Virtual Event

NAMI Wisconsin Presents

Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops Virtual Showing

November 19th, 2020
Matinee Showing @ 1 – 3 PM 
Evening Showing @ 6:30 – 8:30 PM 

Join NAMI Wisconsin for a virtual showing of the HBO documentary Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops followed by a live Q&A with Ernie and Joe themselves. This documentary follows two police officers with the San Antonio Texas Police Department who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment, one 911 call at a time.
TW: Suicide, Gun Violence

The first 100 people to register before November 12th will receive complimentary popcorn in the mail to enjoy during the film!


Read more, and watch the official trailer, on the NAMI Wisconsin website.

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