By Sara Satinsky
Last month, we were truly honored to join partners WISDOM and EX-Prisoners Organizing in person to release the new report: Excessive Revocations in Wisconsin: The Health Impacts of Locking People Up without a New Conviction.
Despite frigid temperatures in Wisconsin, people came out. Across the state — in Milwaukee, Madison, Wausau, Eau Claire, and Green Bay — they came out.
It’s a testament to the talented organizers working on the ground from our partner organizations, from Thrive Wisconsin Health Equity Alliance, and others.
It’s also a testament to the urgency of this topic in Wisconsin, where nearly 3,000 people were put in prison in 2015 alone for revocation without a new conviction, for an average of 1.5 years and costing the state more than $147 million.
People came out to hear speakers like Paula Tran Inzeo and Dr. Geoffrey Swain summarize what the research findings — that it’s bad for individual and family health and doesn’t necessarily improve public safety to incarcerate people who break rules of their supervision but have not been convicted of a new crime.
People came out to share their stories — stories like that of Mark Rice’s about being revoked for reasons ultimately related to a mental health condition, stories of being on supervision, or stories of loved ones who experienced each of those actions.
And people came out to join WISDOM leaders like Rev. Willie Briscoe who called for action and David Liners who articulated a need to find other ways to hold people accountable for rules, in ways that support them, without focusing on incarceration.
As one editorial — among the nearly 20 news pieces or op-eds that have been published since the report — succinctly summarized:
“The cost in both dollars and human lives is steep and unnecessary and unjust.”
To find the report and related materials to share, visit: www.SentBack.org.
This post was originally published in our From the HIP Blog.