Wednesday, August 10, 2016

anger Build Up: solutions


 The Wisconsin DOC is in crisis caused by Overcrowding and Loss off mission. The resulting Dysfunction has made the prison's usual low level frustration escalate in many prisoners to rage. Severe shortages of staff create equally severe stress as guards are forced to work overtime and all professional staff is spread to the thinnest thread. Meanwhile prisoners get poor care if any and the prisons spend much time on lockdown due to staff shortages. Some prisoners complain they rarely
get to the law library because of overcrowding and the law is their only remedy.
   Assaults by prisoners on guards are up as are reports to us of abuse by guards of prisoners. These usually go together, even though the prisoners reasons for "snapping out" ( what prisoners call assaulting guards)are seldom aired by the media. Anger build up Post two has letters giving overview of Crisis in our prisons.

 Wisconsin DOC neither rehabilitates prisoners nor keeps us safe.
1)Release old law prisoners,
2)stop reincarcerating people for non- feloni

examples of OLD LAW PRISONERS and TIS Prisoners TIS
TIS prisoners :Most of  Wisconsin's prisoners are Truth in Sentencing ( TIS), they came into prison after 2000 and they receive little treatment or program because of lack of resources. Here are sections from a couple TIS inmate letters soon to be released, still drug addicted. and frightened they will soon go back to old ways.

Here is an example of a TIS prisoners asking for help, for treatment. There is nothing for him:
       I am 23 years old, I have about 9 months to go. I have no support when I get out let along while I’m locked up. I am incarcerated for forgery and intimidation of a witness.  I take full responsibility for my actions.
        About the Whole addiction. I have not received one single drop of help which is really sad because I’ve got a big drug problem and with releasing me into TLP which is going to be filled with drugs. I know from prior experience-so with me no knowledge of how to control my addiction and then setting me out into a world where I’m going to be surrounded is bad-it’s like they set me up for failure.


Here is a quick view of about thirty Old Law Prisoners to give you a sense of what we are talking about.
 There are about 2500 old law prisoners eligible for release, some have been waiting for decades, all over 30 an about most took advantage of schooling, programs available before TIS was established in 2000. Since then schooling and programs have been drastically cut and there are few paroles.The prisons hold them as long as the law allows- usually til their MR or mandatory release date.

Here is a full Blog of old law prisoners with more complete stories


What we have found in the 16 plus years of working with prisoners, is that the majority of old law prisoners are truly ready to be contributing citizens.  All were convicted of crimes committed be
fore 2000 and most were imprisoned when training and rehabilitative tools were readily available and prisoners could get PELL Grants. Many have multiple degrees. Even though approximately 2500 of these prisoners are eligible for release now, almost none are being released . They are being held to the maximum the law allows (MR or mandatory release date.)

Here is a chart by the DOC showing release numbers since 2000, when the crunch began .
terms used in chart below.
Extended supervision is for truth in sentencing prisoners

Mandatory release is at 2/3 of Old law prisoner' sentence. The law mandates his/her release

Parole :Old law inmates are eligible for parole after 25% of sentence if behavior was satisfactory

 See chart  :Parole of OLD LAW (bottom line)prisoners went from over 2000 a year the year 2000 to around 100 in 2012. In 2015 .27 were released on parole..Over 2500 -people are eligible.

A clearer view perhaps is this chart Release by type:
Look at discretionary parole. the last column-157 that's old law parole. They have to let them go at mandatory release unless there has been bad conduct. Then if they are still in,  they go to "Direct Discharge." They have served every minute of their sentence.  Sentences were long in pre TIS time because  the judge knew the inmate would probably be released after serving 25 % of his time. The long sentences were an incentive to good behavior that worked. There was schooling programming and treatment.

SOME statistics that challenge myths:
Old law inmates are all over thirty in the main are not dangerous.
The average age of an old law prisoner is 48, according to DOC statistics. Many older, many in their 60's and up.

 Old law inmates are all over thirty in the main are not dangerous.

Crime Declines Precipitously With AGE for ALL Crimes
Research has conclusively shown that long before age 50, most people have outlived the years in which they are most likely to commit crimes. Even when examining data on arrests that may not lead to conviction or indicate guilt, this holds true. For example, the figure below shows the percentage of individuals arrested nationally by age in 2004. Less than6% of individuals ages 3 0-3 4 were arrested ( nearly 14 % for 19 year olds), whereas a little over 2% of individuals ages 50-54 were arrested and almost 0% of those age 65 and older were arrested. This trend of decreasing crime rates from adulthood to old age has held constant overtime, as shown by the 1979 arrest curve.
Studies show that most non corporate crime is committed by people under thirty. Period. A recent and incredibly detailed study by the ACLU went state by state to get data and found that after 30, the percentage of prisoners to reoffend was 6 %, after 55 it dropped to zero. This and studies by the FOB and other organizations showing similar findings need to be given much consideration when deciding whether an mature or elderly inmate, once violent, is still a danger. People change. All old law prisoners are over thirty (crimes committed 15 plus years ago) and about a third of our nearly three thousand old law prisoners are over 55. Many are fathers, mothers, grandparents.
more coming>

Solution two: stop reincarcerating people for non felonies
Wisconsin has a whopping 4000 prisoners who are there for parole rule violations- non felonies. Wisconsin is one of the few states that does this. Why?
Below is a listing of "incarceration by type". This is a DOC listing. Look at the last listing for 2013-14:"REVOCATION: NO NEW SENTENCE:3652 wow!!

 Coming soon personal stories of revocation with no new sentence
Ron Schroeder was reincarcerated for tattooing a minor. The boy lied about his age. Not a felony. His story and others are coming.


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