Today Governor Walker signed into
law a bill that will increase funding for TAD (Treatment Alternatives
and Diversions) by an additional $2 million per year! TAD, a
program that grants state money to counties for treatment alternatives
to jail and prison, has been in place since 2007. It originally set
aside $1 million per year for the program. Four years ago, a WISDOM-led
movement led to the expansion of TAD to $4 million per year. Today’s
increase will bring the budget to $6 million each year.
WISDOM’s 2012 Health Impact Assessment regarding
TAD showed that each $1 million spent on TAD each year keeps 40-50
people out of state prisons, and 300-400 out of county jails. In
addition, each $1 spent on TAD saves taxpayers $1.96 million in
incarceration and other costs.
WISDOM is very pleased that the Legislature and
the Governor have seen fit to continue to expand the TAD program, which
now sponsors alternatives to incarceration in more than half of
Wisconsin’s counties. We believe TAD can and should be expanded even
more. Future growth in TAD needs to be directed toward those counties
that are disproportionately represented in the prison population, and
which drive Wisconsin’s terrible racial disparities.
Please thank your state legislators for this $2
million increase in TAD funding. It is a step in the right direction.
Ask them to take the next step next year with another expansion, this
time aimed at the communities that need it most. You can find your
On April 25, the national Annie E. Casey
Foundation published an extraordinary study, titled “A Shared Sentence:
The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration.” You can find it
here: A Shared Sentence. It is well worth the time to read. One very interesting finding is that, “if
incarceration rates hadn’t increased during a 24-year period, the U.S.
poverty rate would have fallen by 20 percent, rather than remaining
relatively steady.” The study makes three general recommendations:
- We need to invest in supports for children during and after the time their parents are incarcerated;
- We need to make a major effort to ensure that people being released from jail and prison can get jobs;
- We need to strengthen communities, especially those most effected by mass incarceration.
Finally, EXPO member and organizer Mark Rice was
invited recently to give a keynote address at UW Oshkosh. His topic
was “Formerly-Incarcerated People Can Change.” You can see his talk
here: Rice at UW Oshkosh.
Thanks for your support. You can follow our work more closely on Facebook, WISDOM for Justice.