Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A quick overview of people too long waiting

Note: we are in the process up updating this blog- present whereabouts of these prisoners- go to
DOC inmate locator site:

 Here we introduce you to a few of the men and women who are rehabilitated and ready to come home. There are about 2500 prisoners , all over 30 years old ; over 1000 of them are over 55 .They do not need to be incarcerated and it is a human rights violation of the first order to hold them. But more than that, their release would go a long way to solving the overcrowding problem and resources could be put into programs and treatment that we lack now in our prisons and community. We are not being made safer by the present system for inmates are not rehabilitated- they are generally abused. 
We begin with two urgent cases:parents not long to live, these men want most to be with them in their last days.

Scott Howard and James Schuman are both in their 60’S and long ago rehabilitated. They both have ailing parent and their most earnest desire is to be with them in their last days.
James Schuman( left) with parents. His mother recently died.
He hopes to get back home to be with his father

James Schuman 335144;
Sanger B. Powers Correctional Center;

N8375 County Line;Oneida, WI 54155 

  James Schuman plotted to kill his wife during a dark parole period of divorcing- the man he plotted with was government- no one was hurt. He was convicted in 1997 has been in prison for over 20 years and wants nothing more but to be with is father in his last few years. Born in 1950, he is 68 and has multiple health problems.  His son’s wife has been battling cancer for years. He has taken full responsibility for his crime. Despite all these factors, he has been denied parole on numerous occasions.
     Jim has no criminal record. He has an excellent work history and has job skills he could put to immediate use if paroled. Both his children strongly supported him throughout his trial. He has no major conduct reports. He has used his time in prison well, tutoring other inmates, working other jobs, and furthering his education where possible. Prison authorities have rated him as a low risk for violent behavior or committing another crime if released.
       Here are his son’s Skip’s words after reading a transcript from his father’s parole hearing: “It is my opinion, in all the previous hearings, the commissioners came across as completely biased with predetermined decisions. The use of incendiary, misleading sophistry shows no actual consideration or discussion for parole. One might think the parole commission would be more useful investigating and assisting inmates to target how they will support and establish themselves to be assets to society, rather than detaining a created, continued expense for taxpayers.

James Schuman's January 2019 update:

Jim Schuman 335144
SPCC , N8375 county Line Rd
Oneida, WI 54155

update 1 19
a)      I ‘m 68 Yrs old ( soon to be)
b)      Incarcerated22 yrs ( since Feb 1997)
c)       1st  eligible for parole 2005
d)      My mother died 3/10/2016
e)      My father is 88 years old and has very poor mobility and marginal health
f)       I’ve had minimum  custody since 2017
g)      Community Custody since July 2017
h)      I’ve completed all programming requested by WIDOC, plus considerable voluntary programs and education.
i)        My work and participation record has been excellent.
j)        I have had 2 minor tickets in 22 years of incarceration
k)      I presently suffer fom supraventricular tachycardia ( heart issues), arthritis i joints and muscles. Severe pain in my shoulder and arm have left my right arm of little use due to poor health Care.
l)        presently I am a driver at SPCC-transporting people to and from work sites around the area, driving 1000 plus miles a week
m)    If released I could get proper medical attention and be able to assist my elderly father.

"It is time to release James Schuman." 
click here to read James Schuman's  blogpost
Scott Howard with aged parents

Scott Howard 164177
Oakhill Correctional Institution
 PO Box 938; Oregon, WI 53575

      Scott Howard was 29 years old when he was arrested and is now 59 years old. He was convicted of First degree Murder, Arson, Theft, Endangering Safety, Fraudulent Insurance Claim and subsequently pleaded guilty on an unrelated case to Threats to Injure and False Imprisonment and was sentenced to Life plus 29 years 9 months.
     Under “old law” he became eligible for parole in 1997 and has had 10 parole hearings and waived the eleventh. At each hearing he was denied for the same reasons of "Unreasonable risk to society" and "Have not served enough time for punishment". Both his codefendants have been released. He has taken every program he can and met all requirements. His list of completed programs and course covers an entire 8X11 page.
        This is a case, again, of deciding whether we believe that people change. Our answer is a resounding “YES”. No matter how heinous his crime was 30 years ago, in 1985, this man is no danger now and his family needs him back. They have backed him at every step of this long prison process and the heartbreak in their stories is palpable. Here is a bit of his mother’s letter:
"We have always been a close, loving family and as his parents we have suffered great loss, deep painful loss and Scott's absence has been very difficult for us to accept and we miss him every day. We are at an age we need our son's help around our house. Both of us had heart surgery  and have not been able to travel back to Wisconsin to visit him. We are 90 years of age and need more help in getting around. Scott has no one close enough to visit him, which is heart breaking for him to be so alone.
      We raised his daughter who is 40 now, we have watched how the absence of her father has greatly affected her life. Her mother was not present in her life either. As a family unit we gave her a good family life. She was affected emotionally. She went through her share of problems; her son, Scott's grandson, has a dysfunctional mental problem and would benefit from his grandfathers help."

       Besides the incredible heartbreak to so many, why are we wasting money keeping this man in prison when those funds are needed so desperately elsewhere. We do not agree with this incarceration and demand he be given his freedom as soon as possible. 
click to see  Scott Howard's blog for more info /

Compassionate Release Application for the next three denied in past, filing another soon
More about compassionate release for Old law Prisoners: 

We did an application for compassionate release for three deserving Old Law prisoners  and were denied with the statement that there is no compassionate release for old law prisoners, they just go to their parole board. There is an executive directive that specifically says otherwise. Here are the three:

Nancy Ezell several years ago
Nancy Ezelll today

 Nancy Ezell 
TCI, PO Box 3100, 
Fond du Lac, 53933

Nancy Ezell was Born 1952 and is now 66. She was convicted in 1998 of drug possession “with intent to manufacture, distribute or deliver. (961.41.)” She has had multiple major heart surgeries, has type 2 diabetes and is on oxygen. She has had hip and knee surgery . Statistics show that the crime rate drops dramatically (from 12 percent to 6 percent) for people over 30. After 55 it drops to near zero. This would be enough to tell us that Nancy is not dangerous but the fact that she carries around oxygen wherever she goes makes this certain. Another factor is that she is in prison for a non violent drug crime and was sentenced when the WAR ON DRUGS was at its highest pitch. Then Excessive sentences for non violent crimes were the norm.
She also has children who would love to have her home and who would care for her.
But the enormous cost of keeping Nancy in is not the most important consideration. The prison cannot house someone as sick and frail as Nancy humanely. Prisons were built for the healthy. She is very stressed with the noise and commotion and lack of nurturing has taken its toll. Again studies tell us that prisoners age much quicker than non prisoners- Some studies name 50 , some 55 as “old”. Nancy is old and frail with a bad heart and needs to be home with her loved ones.
         Nancy's case is heartbreaking. We did a compassionate release application for her and she was denied, and her time to the next parole hearing was extended to two years. I am worried that her health will give out with the stress and her inability to breathe well. There is no good reason behind this and the parole board gives no reason except to constantly reiterate her drug crime. Enough--this is not the same woman who went to prison. She has learned what she needs and now we need to release her.

Terrance Shaw 138254 
RCI PO Box 900; Sturtevant, WI 53177

Terrance Shaw, now70

 Terrance was another of our compassionate release candidates and  is one of the hardest workers I know. He has an opportunity with the Veteran's Hospital to get treatment for the first time for his PTSD and then to take their training to become a mentor for other Viet Nam veterans who are also suffering from this malady. He was one of our compassionate release candidates but was denied. This is another example of the DOC's refusal to take into account the fact that people change.
Terrance Shaw  born 1948, now 70, has been incarcerated since 1982.
This man is a clear example of why we need to change from a revenge model to believing that people change. Terrance was a Viet Nam War veteran with what would now be called PTSD. His crime was horrendous and also he was horrendously ill . He has been in prison for 32 years on a life sentence. According to the statutes in place at the time , he has been eligible for parole since 1995. He has been absolutely sincere in his attempt to redeem himself and we ask that he be given a second chance.
    "When I first came to prison in 1982 I didn't even know my high school fractions, decimals, and percents. But during my first year in prison I got clean and sober and had a Spiritual Awakening. I studied hard for my own personal enrichment to remedy my mathematical deficit and went on to the University of Wisconsin-Extension and got 4-credits in Algebra and 3-credits in Accounting, and became a prison GED math tutor. "

He has also completed a 4 year Bible correspondence course and went on to get his master in Religious studies, doctorate in Bible studies and a PHD in philosophy of religion.He has been accepted for treatment for his PTSD at a veterans hospital and intends to go on to be one of their mentors. He is very anxious to serve and is one of the most earnestly striving people we know.
Why is this man still in prison? We hold more than 2500 prisoners who are eligible for parole and most are rehabilitated. They have all been in prison more than 15 years and most spent much of that time when there was good programming. Many, like Terrance, hold advanced degrees. Now, largely because of the exorbitant health care costs for these elderly prisoners (and Terrance at 66, has multiple health problems), there is little treatment for the mentally ill and few effective programs for anyone.
He has a bright future ahead of him and is very anxious to start the PTSD treatment at the Veteran's hospital and to go on to be a mentor to others with PTSD.

Prisoner's Lament

I flush the commode

And watch the contents swirl down

Like all the hopes and dreams

Of what my life could have been.

Terrance Shaw's Letter to the governor 

/View Terrance's blog  

Ron Schilling   32219

KMCI PO Box 282, Plymouth WI 53073
Ron and his daughter

Ron schilling and mother before she died
Born In 1951, Ron Schilling is now 64 and has been incarcerated since 1976, 39 plus years. He killed a man during a drug deal gone bad. He has never shied away from taking responsibility for his crime and has served his time well, staying clear of major conduct reports and earning several advanced degrees while PELL Grants were still available. He is a fine musician, poet and litigator and an inspiration to those around him.
       Ron was granted parole by former Parole Chairman Leonard Wells until he became a victim of the new tough on crime rhetoric that cost him his parole and Leonard Wells his job. Since then, he has been back and forth from Minimum to Medium security and is transferred without a word on why, and is convinced there is retaliation going on.
        Ron Schilling is an Old-Law prisoner and was eligible for parole after serving 13-1/2years . There is no good reason why we are wasting taxpayer money on entombing this man and the more than 2500 others who are eligible and rehabilitated.
         Below is a quote by Ron's Social Worker at Jackson Correctional Institution, written in support of his parole bid in 2000: "Mr Schilling has a keen mind and a good heart. If he is not a successful candidate for restoration to the community, then no one on my caseload could possibly be!"
 his blogs

on oxygen, in wheel chair , has stage 4 COPD, heart stints, diabetes
RGCI, P.O. Box 925, Redgranite, WI 54970
Steven Earsley-on oxygen,  in wheel chair, has sever COPD

To whom it may concern:

1.   Steven J. Earsley

2.   10/18/1953, age now: 65

3.   Date & Age at Incarceration:10/29/98,44

4.   Served 21 years to date

5.   94310(2)(d)-Burglary


940.225(2)(a)-2nd Deg. Sex Assault 948.07(1)-Chil.d enticement

6.   Sentence was 125 years

7.   Redgranite Correctional Institution

8.   My MR is in 2081

9.   My first Parole is 4 July 2029
10. I have completed the following:
Cognitive Intervention / CGIP 1-11(1999)
Anger Management (4/21/2000)
Mental Health I-II
Emotional Trauma program
Thinking for change
Long Term Incarceration Course
Hospice Care (4/25/2013)
13. I served--20 years in the US Army and will be housed at VA Care Home,and my two sons will also help me with any living issues that arise.
I am bound to my wheelchair with an Oxygen tank as I have COPD Lev-4 (the last level before death). I have had several heart inplants/stints and am diabetic with poor health issues trying to gain compassionate release. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.

Enough time For punishment:People Change

Harlan Richards 37975 
SCI 100 Corrections Drive, Stanley, WI 54968
Harlan Richard's  crime was unpremeditated and will never be repeated. He is 60 and has been in prison for 30 years.. He has continuously shown himself to be  is a man deeply spiritual and an asset to all those around him.  He writes beautiful poetry -recommended reading:

Harlan Richards Books at
Manic in  My Soul -Twenty-Nine Poems - 

What Prison Teaches - Prisons

I was involved in a spontaneous fight in 1984 where I stabbed a much larger man to death. He attacked me without provocation. I was sentenced to life in prison at aged 30 and have spent 32 Years in Prison. I spent 8 1/2 years in maximum security and 9 years in medium security. I obtained a bachelor of science degree in business administration from UW Platteville majoring in marketing in December 1997. I completed anger management in 1994.In 2002, I transferred to minimum security and in 2005 I transferred to a work release center. I spent 19 months on work release. In 2008, the parole commission increased my defer based on my current offense and prior criminal record and sent me back to a minimum security prison. In 2010, I received a shorter defer and returned to a work release center where I drove a state van unescorted over 30,000 miles throughout north­ western Wisconsin.

In 2011, the parole commission again increased my defer based solely on my current offense and prior criminal record and I was returned to medium security where I have been housed since January 2011.reasons for parole denial:  Unreasonable risk to the public and have not served sufficient time for punishment.

Jim Schultz 8151;
 Stanley Correctional Institution; 100 Corrections Drive; Stanley, WI 54768
Jim Schultz
Incarcerated 1986 for homicide/eligible after 13 1/2 years and has been in 36 years/

Although he has paid for his crime and is eligible for parole, Jim Schultz  is still trying to clear his name Here is his innocence post of many years ago:



It is an incredible fact that we have many prisoners from other countries who were eligible for parole many years ago and we ordered deported back to their homeland upon release. Why are we holding them? Families are waiting for them in their own country. Here are two:

SCI ;100 Corrections Drive; Stanley, WI 54768

Jose Fuentes is one of many WI prisoners who were ordered deported by the judge upon release from prison. In 2005 Jose had a teleconference with a Federal Judge in Chicago where he issued a deportation order to go back to Mexico. Jose was sentenced in 1995 and has served 23 years of a 40 year sentence. He could have gone home 10 years ago, for pre 2000 statutes say he is eligible after serving one quarter of his sentence.
     In his own words:” I have completed all of my required programs.I have seen the Parole Board 8 times, and each time, instead of discussing the deportation order, I am told that they want me to serve more time.
       I have the love and support of my entire family who have written several letters over the years to the DOC expressing their support. My sister has a kidney disease and has to go through kidney dialysis every week and I want to give one of my kidneys to her. My father is 80 years old and his health is failing and he needs me to help with the farming."
But after doing everything the DOC has asked of me, it never seems to be enough. When is it time to give up?
And here are his final words to us and we think we should heed them.
"Mr. and Mrs. taxpayer. What about the incarcerated undocumented immigrants? Do you know that you are still footing the bill to keep them incarcerated long after they have finished all their required programs and long after a Federal Judge issued orders for these inmates to be deported. These immigrants should be deported out of the United States and no longer be a threat to society. Instead of deportation and saving Wisconsin taxpayer money, the Department of Corrections and the Parole Board are keeping them incarcerated to serve their entire sentence. Again, to fuel the Wisconsin prison industry and a big waste of taxpayer money."
Like the next prisoner, he wants to be deported, is eligible to be deported. He is rehabilitated,his family is waiting.Here is Jose's blogpost


JOSE GARCIA 305468 SCI 100 Corrections Drive; Stanley, WI 54768
           Jose Garcia is another prisoner in a miserable position.
He is a Colombian citizen and has been incarcerated , separated from friends and family , for 20 years. His sentence was 72 years and he had his first parole hearing in 2013. His crimes/convictions were very serious – attempted homicide, reckless injury, second degree sexual assault, false imprisonment and he states over and over again that he takes full responsibility for his crimes. He has taken every program he can and participated fully wherever he is allowed but the prison will not let him take certain required programs until he is 3 years from his mandatory release date which means he will have served 45 years before he is allowed to take basic programming when he was eligible for parole in 2013. He has all the friends and family back in Colombia to support him. Jose Garcia’s explanation is more eloquent:
         “Throughout my incarceration, I have, and continue to request to participate in any and all programs which will assist me in dealing with the issues which have led to my incarceration. I have been consistently denied.
           As I am to be deported to Colombia upon my release from prison, despite the current policies which allow inmates to be deported prior to their release, I have been denied such opportunities. As the process is explained, the Department of Corrections is the final authority to approve the early release and immediate deportation, and without reason, I have been denied such opportunities.
          I cannot say it enough, I take full responsibility for my actions, yet, believe I am being unjustly denied the legitimate opportunities to prove myself and no longer be a burden to the State of Wisconsin.
         Specifically, if I am eligible for parole, as I currently am, how is it I am denied due to the fact I have not completed the required rehabilitative programs, when such programs have been continuously denied by the Department of Corrections? How can I be denied due to insufficient time served, when current laws has permitted for review for early release? If such laws provides for me to be deported prior to serving my sentence, why not allow me to return to my country of origin? Is their any fiscal or ethical way to justify keeping me in this State, costing the average taxpayer 30,000 a year when Colombia will accept me back, as one of their citizens? How can I be of any threat to the citizens of Wisconsin, when I am deported?
           I understand the need for justice and to protect Wisconsin residents, yet, how is this accomplished by not providing the programs it requires of me, or refusing to allow me to return to my home country?

           I humbly ask for nothing more than what the law provides, I ask to either be allowed to take the rehabilitative program required of me or allow for my deportation.” 

 Lene Cespedes Torres 122605
NLCI Box 4000, New Lisbon, WI 53950

Lene came here at 16 on the Mariel Boatlift and lied about his age, changed his name from Lenin to Lene. He knew little of the language and  was convicted of murder soon after, in 1981. He has always maintained his innocence and has been a model prisoner. In his case, with a life sentence, he was eligible after about 13 years- since 1994- AND the judge ordered deportation upon release.
His family awaits him in Cuba.

He is a fine poet and wonderful artist.
Here is his blog:

Jose Meniz 406884 WSPF
I got sentenced to 20 years in prison for selling drugs back in
 2000. Of the 20 years I have 23 months left. In a few weeks
Jose Meniz
I'm going to file for me 85% .If I get it, I would be getting deported  back to Mexico. I was 18 y ears old when I came to prison. the  judge that  sentenced me gave me boot camp,or minimum! I was in medium custody for 10 years. I got a ticket and that sent me here. I got okayed to medium custody 9 months ago but it is taking a long time to get to medium because of the over crowding  of the prisons.

 Hayes Jackson -sentenced to 100 yrs
as juvenile/Party to a crime

We now know the injustice of sentencing a child to life in prison and the supreme Court is deciding crucial issues on this matter.. The brain is physically not developed to think long term, to understand consequences. There are many prisoners in WI who were sentenced as youngsters and received incredibly long sentences- many need to get back to court to get sentences reduced. Others just need parole. These petitions will help build public pressure . Please sign.

here is a blog of many more juveniles waived into adult court and now mature

Jerry Curry given 135 years at age 17!!
254136; CCI, PO Box 900; Portage, WI 53901

Jerry was waived into adult court at 17 (1996) and given 135 years
He was also diagnosed with a mental illness and is now 41; birth year is 19/77
Served 23 years this far. His MR date is 2086 and has not seen the parole board
He was convicted of attempted homicide , robbery and attempted robbery and has completed HSED and a vocational college course.

He has a verifiable support system.
“I was waive into adult court at 17 and been in prison ever since.
 I am 36 and no where near the same person I was 18 years ago.
 I’ve did every program and took every class asked of me by the
 judge and the DOC . Now I am basically just sitting here doing
nothing but after 18 years what more could I do? I have a binder
full of diplomas with no one to show them to.”
Was sentenced to 135 years at age 18. .
 Andre Bridges 248420 FLCI PO BOX 200; Fox Lake, Wi 53933

Andre Bridges

Was a juvenile when He committed his crime. He foolishly fired into the air trying to stop a fight . This incited not the quiet he hoped for, but mayhem and someone was killed. Andre was severely depressed when first in prison and is not a changed man. His fiance awaits him and he deserves a second chance-

 Here is his blog:
Andre entered the system as a Juvenile, 6 days after he turned 16. He was charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide-party to a crime, and was waived into adult court and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole until the year 2037. He had fired a gun into the air during an argument between gangs, hoping to defuse the argument and instead it escalated and 14-year-old Corzette Vance was killed. Andre claimed responsibility but no one knows who fired the fatal shot.
Andre states: “I have never made excuses for my actions and I never will. Many may wonder, how dare I plead for a second chance at life after standing accused of taking the life of another. Well, it's because I truly believe I have earned a second chance at the life I never had. I plead for this chance with a clear conscience. I committed my crime when I was very young--I am not the same person I was when I got arrested. In the nearly 23 years I've been incarcerated I have gained a real appreciation for life and everything it has to offer. I have not only accomplished everything that was asked of me but I have volunteered to participate in programs that changed me for the better. My prison record indicates positive adjustment with good work evaluations, as I have used my time productively.”
Andre has transformed himself since that day. He came to prison with serious mental health problems and a history of being abused; he has since written an autobiography and become a helper to many other inmates. Not only has he completed an impressive list of programs, been employed as lead food server, dishwasher, administrative clerk, segregation janitor to name a few, he has many certificates, an Associates Degree in Theology and LVA tutor training, and over 600 hours of community service.

Andre's final words:” However, I pride myself most on my personal and spiritual growth, and having had the opportunity to participate in the Reach Out Program once facilitated at Columbia Correctional for 10 years. This program gave me the opportunity to educate and mentor at-risk youth. I am blessed with an outstanding support system and a loving fiancĂ©e I'm planning a life with. I have drafted an extensive release plan and will present well to potential employers upon release. These factors, together with my level of maturity, labor skills, and desire to give back will significantly reduce the likelihood of me ever re-offending. The community does not need protection from me!” 

a juvenile offender deserving of a second chance:
shulbert and daughter

Shulbert was 17 years old when he committed his crime and 18 when arrested. He was convicted of 4 counts of armed robbery and sentenced to an astounding 130 years in prison. Born in 1977, He is now 41 years old and has in been prison since 1996-22 years. He has completed a wide range of rehabilitative programs spanning vocational certificates, educational courses, coping skills, has completed an additional 30 self-help programs.
Here are his words:
      “To give you a little background on myself, I've been incarcerated in maximum security prison for approximately 20 years now. I was convicted on 4 counts of armed robbery as a teenager and sent to prison at the age of 18. 1 will be 38 years old November 19, 2015.
     "As a juvenile, I suffered from certain pressures around me. Consequently, I "thought" as a juvenile would. However, I do know that I am not the same person who participated in the commission of my crimes, have paid my debt to society, and all while learning a most needed lesson in regards to ethics and manners. I once thought I knew everything there was to know about life. The truth, in short, I was ignorant, immature, uneducated, impressionable and very much underdeveloped. The manner in which I justified my actions as a young teen was that, no one was being hurt physically so what I was doing was okay. In my mind, I could only associate "pain" with someone who was being hurt physically.
     "Right now today, as a refined, mature, educated, grown adult, I'm able to identify and recognize 'errors in thinking' I simply wasn't able to grasp as a teenager. When one knows better, one does better ... I now associate-"pain" with anyone who is hurt physically, as well as mentally and emotionally. Where there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the same. And as such, the impact is felt the same.”
       It is hard for us to understand such a severe sentence. This is throwing a life away and stating loudly and clearly to the world that people do not change. A boy did the robberies and we now know how undeveloped the juvenile brain is and how wrong that attitude that says “once a criminal always a criminal” is. Studies have shown that the tendency toward crime concentrates on young males under 30 when the level drops precipitously.  Shulbert needs to have his sentence reduced in the light of an evolving society and he is ready for parole.

Animal in a Cage

  DarRen Morris 00236425

GBCI; PO Box 19033, Green Bay, WI 54307
DarRen has been in prison since he was 17 years old. He was seriously delusion and mentally ill when the crime he was convicted of occurred and there is a question of exactly what happened, but this man was waived into adult court and no consideration was made for his mental illness. He is also deaf. He spent many years in and out of solitary confinement , needing and being denied hearing aides, getting into trouble and suffering incredibly inhumane treatment.  Through painting and caring friends  he has transformed himself and can now negotiate the ups and downs of prison life . He has been incarcerated for far too long.

Hayes Jackson #253086,  Waived into adult court read his story:
PO Box 1000
Boscobel, WI 53805

He was waived into adult court at the age of 16 , convicted in 1994 by jury trial of PTAC (party to a crime)felony murder and armed robbery and burglary and given a total of 100 years with parole after 25 years.
Hayes describes himself and his position best:
“The type of person I was before my arrest, I was more of a follower. I was peer pressured into a lot of things by friends. I was always a good kid but got hooked up with the wrong crowd. I was a giving person with a big heart, I was always making people laugh even when I knew that they were going through a difficult time.
I was with this female who I gave my heart to and thought that it was likewise, a young married couple as everyone seen us to be. Then I got jammed up with the other two in a robbery and in the process of that one of the victims got accidentally shot and died from the fatal shot. I did not know anyone got shot because I was in a different room. Long story short all I could think about was my girl who lived downstairs with our kids-what have I done-one thought- the second thought -if I got this money she wouldn't need anything. She was my rock and I would have done anything to make her happy.
While being in prison I have gotten my HSED, stayed away from conduct reports, looked at things a lot different through the way the victim felt if it would had happened to someone I loved.

I have become a man who is patient, respectful, understanding trustworthy, someone people would love to get to know if given a chance. I see more deeply into things than many people who were not shackled by my inhibitions. I have learned a lot to take back into the community and help the younger kids who are going down the path I ones went down. Please don't let the word “prison” define who they want you to think I am.” 

 Tommy Thames 297592 
John C. Burke Correctional Center,Po Box 900; Waupun, WI 53963

Tommie with his mother

Tommie Thames was 17 years old, a juvenile, when he was waived into adult court and given a 70 year sentence for first degree reckless homicide and attempted first degree homicide. The story is bizarre and seems something only a kid would do. He and two friends were playing with guns in the basement Tommie accidentally shot his friend in the head. Tommie, afraid to go to jail, attempted to hide the body. That was 21 years ago and he is 38 now, a mature man. He has been to the parole board three times and told each time that he must serve more time because of the nature of the crime. Yet there is nothing in his conduct that warrants more time; he has a very long list of accomplishments and only 2 major tickets gotten 14 years ago. Here are some of his accomplishments: HSED, welding, vocational and production welding, food production and he has his food management license. He took the victim impact program, challenge and possibilities which had an intense restorative justice component; he took a number of reentry modules; he tries his best to influence others to make better choices than he did; he helped pack meals for the ‘Feed my hungry children”; he learned to train service dogs, to help others. 
Tommie's story and Parole decision and in pdf file. 


 Jeffery Keeran 385507; OSCI, PO Box 3310; Oshkosh, WI 54903

 Born 1980, now 39. Was convicted 1st degree intentional homicide, armed robbery and armed burglary committed when he was 17, When arrested in 1998, Judge sentenced him to life with parole 2023 (25 years), Has  “quite a few” minor tickets when first incarcerated.3 major tickets all non violent.  Has completed 2 vocational trades and is currently a tutor in the cabinetry class. Anger management and AODA need but PRC says he has too much time left and have to wait till he gets to medium. Completed “Challenges and Possibilities” and is now involved with 2nd phase of program called “step up to the challenge”. I am a Christian and I give credit to God for the changes he has made in my life and for the man i have grown up to become. The judge did not consider that he was a juvenile when he committed his crimes.

Truman Anderson #309865
RGCI; PO Box 925; Red Granite;WI

I  have been incarcerated since the age of  sixteen for a crime I committed nineteen years ago with two other teenagers. In March of 1995, we went  to the house of a man who was known to be in possession of marijuana Our intention was to rob him of the drug but the evening did not turn out the way any of us would’ve imagined.

BY ANY MEANS Necessary
The lengths Wisconsin is going to prevent parole-eligible inmates from going home.
Are Wisconsin's remaining parole-eligible prisoners being refused release
 based on criteria that is not consistent with statutory law or
administrative guidelines? The level of disappointment these inmates and
their families must feel every time their impending parole date
approaches. These hearings no longer involve legitimate consideration for
release. Instead they have become little more than a date when the parole
commissioner will show up to their assigned facility to formally justify
their recommendation for continued confinement. The actual discretion that
was once used in deciding whether or not to grant parole has been abandoned
 in favor of predetermined deferments, that have been conferred amongst
the commission, in the absence of the prospective parolee. These practices
 have resulted in perfunctory hearings where the inmate is present, as they
 serve no purpose other than to justify the decisions made earlier amongst
 themselves. continue on his post....


Robert R. Taylor 181190
Kenosha Corr Cen
  6353 14th Avenue
  Kenosha, WI 53143

Born, 1954, now 68. Sentenced to 50 years in 1998 for robbery, no one go hurt.

He was the driver.  Has been in prison for 20 years. Has son who just finished

high school and is still waiting to get to know his father.

 Recommendation from Prison recreation leader

data below is from 2015-update coming
age when -arrested 41/  age- now 61
4.  Convicted of, party to a crime of armed robbery
5.  date eligible for parole 2012

 Reason for denial:release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public, and You have Not served sufficient time for punishment.
"For twenty years I have been nothing but a model prisoner, I have never been to Segregation, I have in the twenty years that I been incarcerated 1 Major ticket and that was stopping another inmate from fighting me. I have taken and finish all recommended programming and more, I have held a job and went to school for 19 years. when is enough, enough? I am not justifying my crime, but fairness is something that I have not,gotten, my two co-defendants both got ten years they went into the bank, I was the driver, no one got hurt, and both of then have been home for 16 years and I am still stuck in prison. I am told that I have not served enough time, how much time is enough?"

Bryant Johnson 130677,

SCI ;100 Corrections Drive; Stanley, WI 54768

Born 1965, sentenced to life , incarcerated since 1997

This story is a heartbreaker for this is one of the most positive and giving men I know. He continues to try to prove his innocence and a big obstacle has been that his lawyer lost the only free copies available of his court records and the court is unresponsive to his request that they help him get new copies. . Slowly family is helping him pay the $1.25 fee per page to get these records recopied. When I contacted Wisconsin Innocence Project (WIP) to see if they could help advocate, I was told they are under the same rules. The records are old and not on data base. He believes once he has these he can go through the procedures used to convict him, a youth who knew nothing, and the faulty lineup and the abusive interrogation and all the rest point to the proverbial “railroad” justice.
Born 1965, sentenced to life , incarcerated since 1997 

Bryant has been eligible for parole since 2011. He is a model prisoner. 


Antoine Murphy 363399;
Red Granite Corr Inst; PO Box 925; Red Granite, WI 54970
Black and Smart

Age when crime committed: 18 yrs ( 1999 convicted)
Convicted of: Attempted Homicide;party to armed robbery;possession of THC w/intent; use of a dangerous weapon
Length of sentence: 75 yrs
Years in prison to date: 17yrs , 9 months
How many Parole hearings/reasons for denial: N/A
Programs,Courses taken and other evidence of rehabilitation:
Anger Management;Tutor Training ;Grief Support; Financial Literacy;Project Citizen ;Restorative Justice;Vocational Printing,Communications,Baptized;Attended 2 prison fellowship seminars;Emmaus Correspondence School;Source of Light Schools;Little Lambs Graduate;Heart Cry Basic Bible Study Course;Men of the Bible Study;Truth Project Study;Not a Fan Study Christian Basics Study;Anger Control Study;member of "set up" crew for Church;currently enrolled in Shalom Seminary roughly 50 credits away from obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Ministry.
I have been published in THE UPPER ROOM & a poetry anthology entitled WARRIOR POETS.. And just last month
I sent my very first book to a publisher:E-Couragement from a Prisoners Pen.
Paragraph regarding self:
"For the most part my coming of age in prison has led to my actually LIKING who I AM! See my crime stemmed. from my not being ok with my natural identity (NERD). Yeah that's me! So as a NERD 4 Jesus I'm ok with being picked on & ostracized. Now I can keep going in the face of my peers taunts of "stop acting white..." Yes,it's ok to be Black & smart. Praise God. So,all these many years later here I AM embodying the Judges advice to "use your God-given intelligence to go far in life."
Even so, being who I AM,I came to realize that my own rehabilitation isn't about obtaining the most accolades. I graduated high school & was an Honor Roll student before I came to prison, even skipped half a grade & have well over a hundred "awards & certificates" from school. That was then..."

Gregory Miller 051300; OSCI; PO Box 3310; Oshkosh, WI 54903

Although after all these years, Gregory is eligible for parole he is still trying to clear his name.  Here Gregory Miller states his case for Innocence

Here is his parole information:
1.  Name and Number: Gregory T. Miller #051300
BD1955, now 63
2.  Current prison: Oshkosh Correctional Institution
3.  Date of conviction: October 13, 1995

4.  Offense description: 1st Degree Reckless Homicide - 
Party To A Crime - 40 years maximum.

5.  A&E Assessed program needs: AODA, Domestic Violence, 
Anger  Management, and Vocational.

6.  MR/PMR date: June 28, 2021
7.  Original parole eligibility date: October 27, 2004.
8.  Number of parole deferments: Five
9.  Official reason for denial/deferment: Did not take AODA program and sometimes not enough time for severity of the crime.
Do you have a verifiable support system: YES!


Rufus West; "Lutalo" 225213
Green Bay Correctional Institution
PO Box 19033
Green Bay, WI 54307
   Lutalo is one of the thousands of Milwaukee Blacks who were swept into prison at the height of the prison boom. He was given his harsh sentence as an " habitual criminal" after being charged with stealing a purse. Later, he was sent to the Supermax after testifying in court to the abuse and death of a prisoner near him. He won a lawsuit against that establishment and that lawsuit caused the discontinuing of one of their more egregious policies. He has transformed himself , works constantly for justice and is an inspiration for many. He has been an important counselor for FFUP.

         In his words: “ I was arrested 8-8-94,convicted of 1 count of armed robbery and possession of a firearm by felon. The victim was not physically injured. I was sentenced to 28 years. I've had maybe 4 or5 parole hearings since then. The parole board has denied me parole for the same cookie-cutter reasons: "Your institutional conduct has not been satisfactory, your program participation has not been satisfactory; release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public; you have not served sufficient time for punishment." It seems like the longer I'm in prison gives the DOC more time to impose new programs on me right around the time when I'm eligible for camp or parole. I've completed all of the programs that I was initially given during my 1st few years in prison. In other words, it appears as though I'll be forced to do programs up until the day I'm released, whether I need the program or not. 
           In my decades as a prisoner, I'm cognizant of the fact that every prison sentence has its own uniqueness. However, it's hard for me to ignore that since the implementation of Truth- In -Sentencing, I have seen prisoners sentenced for murder under TIS serve less time than I have, some who have even come back to prison. For the parole board to continue to block my release because it claims that I'm still the same person that I was 24 years ago, 10 years ago, or even one year ago is unfair. I've received certificates for completing the HSED, Building Services vocational trade, Restorative Justice, Financial Literacy, some type of Driver's Ed. class, and on my own I completed the Paralegal Correspondence Course from Ohio University. I have a solid parole release plan with support from friends. I'm not a troubled prisoner. I find myself mentoring a lot of these youth coming into these prisons on how to stay out of trouble. I have plans to stay out of prison once I'm out. All I need is a chance.” 

Randall Toth 180498 
RGCI;PO Box 925;Red Granite, WI 54970
       Randall was sentenced to life in 1999 for homicide, which then meant that with good behavior he would be released on parole after 13 1/2 years. He has completed all the required programming he can get into, however there is no AODA programming at the prison he is in. He has completed many voluntary programs and has 36 college credits under his belt. He has strong family support. His parents' letter says it best:
From letter by his parents, Dan & Diane Toth:
"      After waiting over 16 years, Randy has finally been allowed to take the Fundamentals of Baking Vocational course at Redgranite. He has now gotten his ServSafe Certificate, as of 7/28/2015. He has 36 college credits, and has maintained an “A“ average throughout. He has a certificate from LSU in Liberal Studies and is working on a Degree from Indiana. In addition, he has received excellent reviews from everyone he has worked for and hasn’t had even a minor infraction in over 10 years. 
        The main reasons he was denied parole in 2012 were, "You haven't served enough time" or "you haven't met your program needs." With his vocational course done, all he has left is the AODA. He did take an AODA program when he was at GBCI, but was told by PRC and Parole reps it wasn’t the "right" one and they refuse to give him credit for it.             The parole board reps need to talk to the staff members at the prisons that interact with inmates to get a better idea of who they really are, and how they have bettered themselves, and why they should be released. Randy was an angry drug addict when he committed his crime, and he has dealt with those issues while in prison. He has earned 15 different certificates from programs he has completed over the years, and stays involved with positive activities. He has become a role model to other inmates, and has earned the respect of many, many staff members. Randy is very remorseful and will feel guilt for his actions for the rest of his life. Furthermore, he has paid his debt to society. He is constantly helping others and encouraging them to better themselves. Randy has become a very good person to other inmates who need to talk to someone, those that don’t have family support and feel lost. He would make a very good speaker for young men and women who are going down the wrong path; he has done it with the BRICK program and he felt very good about that and hoped it helped at least one of those kids.
           Upon release, he has a stable place to live, and a realistic plan for success. We hope you can see the reasons Randy needs to be paroled so he can be a productive citizen again and no longer a burden to the taxpayers. We and many others stand by him and give him the moral support to continue to do positive things, and prove he is a changed man. He would also want to become involved in the community when released and volunteer for youth groups, teach music, or help them understand the path they are on is the wrong one. 
 eligible and ready for parole,been model prisoners  When is time enough?

Randy Rotta ( 80599 , SCI, 100 Corrections Drive; Stanley, WI 54768)
has been in prison for 37 years. His wife still waits. 

. Born in 1957, he was sentenced to life at the age of 23(6/19/81) and is now 61. He has served 37 years. When Sentenced a life sentence meant he would be paroled after 11.3 years were served if he showed himself ready.
Randy killed a woman in a drunken jealous rage after waking up to find her in bed with another. We believe his remorse over this act and passion for self improvement are genuine. He has seen the parole board over 29 times, received a grant recommendation from Mr Landreman in 2007 which was amended to a D-11 by Chairman Graham.
Mr Rotta has not had a conduct report for 8 years. IN fact in 2000 Charles Night, the addiction treatment coordinator at the Whiteville correctional Facility applauded the positive behavior changes he had made and recommended level V AODA treatment be dropped from requirements. 
     He has an impressive list of accomplishments including furniture Finishing Certificate 1984, Cabinet making certificate 1994; Bachelor of Science Degree from St John’s University 1999. Programs completed include DAEP 1988(drug alcohol education);all reentry modules; “Inmates making a positive attempt to Correct Teens Project 1994; CGIP, Restorative Justice seminar (2011) AODA, Anger Management (2015) He did successful work release between 2011 and 2014. All these skills and programs plus his supportive wife show that Randy Rotta is indeed ready to be a contributing member of Society.
Lawrence Williams III #315678; given 130 years at age 19
 KMCI PO Box 282; Plymouth, WI 53073

He was convicted of 10 counts of Armed & Attempted Robbery and 1 count of Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide. Party-to-a-crime to all counts. The enormous 130-year sentence he received does not make sense and he also needs to be aided in getting that reduced..

Here is his statement:”When I was incarcerated, I was 19 years young with no education and no intentions on getting any because I thought I didn't need it. At whatever rate, it wasn't long before I realized that being dumb wasn't cool nor beneficial to a meaningful life. After earning my HSED in 1998, I've achieved certificates such as: Baptism, Workplace Success, Occupational Communication, Student Success, Vocational Math, Tutorial Literacy Training, Welding & Production Welding and other miscellaneous certificates. Now at 38 years young, I can say with certainty that education is a must for all people, being knowledgeable and skilled in many areas you have the wherewithal to make better life choices.”
The above statement tells of his changes- he is not the man he was at 18. He has loving family waiting for him and begs for a second chance. 

The above statement tells of his changes - he is not the man he was at 18. He has a loving family waiting for him and begs for a second chance.
full blogpost here: FULL BLOGPOST HERE:

Charles E Jackson 228061 OSCI

 1990, at the height of the tough on crime craze, Charles got a life sentence for party to the crime of murder. He is a good example of injustice of the "party to a crime" rules, for those who have the least to do with it are often given the toughest sentence. His three defendants which includes the shooter have been out for many years.
As of 2015, Charles had never been to a parole hearing. The co defendants had more information and more to deal with.
45 years old, born in Memphis, TN. Sept. 17th 1969.
21 years old (1990)when arrested, during an election year when “tough on crime” was the mantra .
Convicted of - Party To A Crime of First Degree homicide.
      "Although I was not the person shot or killed anyone I was sentenced to life in prison - while the actual shooter remains at large. I was given a parole date set after serving a 50 year prison sentence under Life - in the year of January 1st. 2041.There was other co-defendant on my case that was charged with the same charge as  I was only he later got those reduces after taking a peal deal. There should have been (3) people charged along with myself - my co-defendant and third the actual shooter - who escape justice due to the district and police taking short cuts to attain justice.
     I never been up for parole due to sentence structure and it should be noted this was my first time ever conviction.Since my conviction I have achieved my HSED - gotten a degree in building and maintenance, and wish to attain another degree in the culinary arts. I have also completed two stages of anger management, while I am eager to do more – unfortunately because of lengthy sentence structure I have been placed several other program waiting list with a low priority need."

Addenda on unfair legal rules enacted at the time that impacted the poor.  
"In the year of my arrest and conviction October 17th 1990 it was an election year state representatives and another Law enforcement agents made a promise to be more tougher on crime.   In either the mid or early 90's the president signed a bill into law gave anyone convicted of a major capital offense, such first degree murder a one year dead line to file an federal appeal to their into the courts.  This was erroneous and harmful to pro se litigants due to the fact that the majority of defendants are Black and from poor low income families.    Most African Americans that are incarceration represents about 75% of the prison population where Blacks makes up about 15% of the people living in the state of Wisconsin.    These are poor men and women that are at the time of
their arrest and conviction can not read or write or afford proper legal representation. I was and am one of those statistics."
 Zong Lor 372443
SCI 100 Corrections Drive
Stanley, WI 54768

Zong Lor is Hmong/ Asian American. Born IN 1980, he is 34 and has been incarcerated since 1999. Was 18 years old at arrest and a gang member. Record in Prisoner has been excellent and has satisfies all program needs. Was given a 48 month defer at last hearing .

Identification: Zong Lor D.O.C. # 372943
Date & Age at Incarceration: March 23, 1999- 18 Years Old
Age Now: 35 Years Old. Born on April 24, 1980
Length of Sentence: 50 Years
Convicted of: 1st Degree Reckless Homicide and Recklessly Endangering Safety
Number of Times to Parole: 1
Excuses Given For Denial: "Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public" & "You have NOT served sufficient time for punishment".
Programs taken: Successfully completed H.S.E..D. & Voc. Ed. Statement By Zong Lor # 372943
On March 23, 1999, at 18 years old I was a gang-member
and I made a poor decision to shoot at rival gang members. I didn't intend to hurt anyone, but sadly someone died as a result. I'm very sorry for what I've done. I sincerely regret it and I wish I could undo it. I've been incarcerated for 16 1/2 years now and I have matured tremendously. I'm not a gang-member anymore and my institution record would support such conclusion. I have successfully completed both of my program requirements and many other volunteer programs. I have received excellent prison work-evaluatuions from work supervisors. And I have a strong family support system upon release. In my past I was a gang-member, but I refuse to allow my past to dictate my future. Today I am a caring man, concerned for my family, and very conscious of making good decisions in life. I humbly ask that society trust me again because I'm ready to contribute to my community in a positive way.
"The caterpillar dies to become a chrysalis. In the slumber of the chrysalis, the energies incubate and rearrange themselves, and a butterfly is born. Is the caterpillar the same being as the chrysalis or the butterfly?" -Deepak Chopra
Note: in a following note Zong Lor also states he has obtained excellent work evaluations form supervisors and has stayed out of trouble and never been a threat to the security of any institution.

Parole Commission statement 9 16 2011(48 month defer) 
parole commission statement here

Zong Lor's story on PDF

1.Janari L Mckinnie 335142 RGCI/ BD
Janari L McKinnie

     7/21/1976 age now 42
2) when incarcerated  11/30/1996 , what age : 20
3) description of offense: Myself and my co-actor called a guy over
 to our house to look at some appliances for possible purchase. A
 fight ensued and the guy died as a result (blunt force trauma 
to the head) We never meant for anybody to die
4.length of sentence:Life  + 20 years consecutive
5) MR date:11/19/2036
6) programs taken:ABE/HSED, Madison Area Technical College Communications 1
Vocational Building Services--this particular program covers/consist of welding, plumbing,carpentry,masonry, electricity, blueprint reading & writing, human relations, AODA level 1, ; Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education; Ordain Minister. (These are programs that I took in the Department of Corrections). Also Computer Literacy and Parenting.
Now come the programs that I've taken while at the Wisconsin Resource Center;
7)Number of Parole Hearings and the Length of Deferments? has never been to a parole hearing but would love to go to them and show how he is not the young clueless kid he was( summed).
8) verifiable support: daughter, 2 grandchildren, 14 siblings, 2 cousins and an uncle who are business owners, my Spiritual Advisor.
9)My Release Support needs are just AODA level 5B, and to just continue with my Mental Health Recovery.

 docs showing low risk for recidivism or new crime: