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OUTRAGEOUS!

posted May 23, 2015, 8:20 AM by Sophia Webmaster

On Tuesday, May 19, with about 30 minutes notice and virtually no discussion, the legislative Joint Finance Committee accepted the Department of Corrections request for an additional $5 million to INCREASE THE PRISON POPULATION by about 500 people in the next 2 years. 


There was no discussion about why the Department of Corrections refuses to take common sense steps that will reduce the prison population.  There was no discussion of  how unsticking the broken old law parole system could safely release hundreds of prisoners, how instituting more alternatives to revocation could stop us from sending thousands of people back to prison who have not committed a new crime. 


The Joint Finance Committee and the DOC know very well that it is not necessary to grow the prison population.  They know they could reduce it safely, responsibly and immediately.  Though legislators appeared to listen at hearings, they apparently heard nothing.  And the DOC refuses to even acknowledge our requests to meet. 
We need a to respond in ways they cannot continue to ignore!  Those who can should plan to meet us at the Capitol at 12 noon next Wednesday, May 27 for a press conference and a still-to-be-determined action.  Watch for details.


Whether or not you can join us on Wednesday, we will need everyone to write letters to the editor, to make phone calls, and more.  Those $5 million are needed for our schools and universities.  They are needed for Treatment Alternatives and Diversions.  They are needed for Transitional Jobs. 


This is a moment that calls for an urgent response.  It is time to say enough is enough, and to call our state officials to act responsibly.


Below is the Legislative Fiscal Bureau paper upon which Joint Finance based their allocation.  Please note that it does not question WHY they assume there will be more prisoners.  And, it assumes there is no alternative.
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/publications/budget/2015-17%20Budget/Documents/Budget%20Papers/235.pdf

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