Thursday, March 5, 2020

LaCost hangs on, prolonging harm. Notes from the March 4 parole commission meeting.

LaCost hangs on, prolonging harm. Notes from the March 4 parole commission meeting.

These notes are written by FFUP volunteer Ben Turk, based on his memories and interpretations of events and statements at the monthly Parole Commission meetings.

Half a dozen supporters attended the March parole commission (PC) meeting. On the PC’s side Commission Chair John Tate II was joined by Commissioners Doug Drankiewicz, Jennifer Kramer and Records Associates (ORA) Oliver Buchino and Katelyn Hendricks. ORA Sara Tome did not attend because she was at a training.

After the meeting, I contacted the parole commission via email with some more questions and got some clarifications.

On Correspondence

Sounds like they’re keeping up on mail from outside and are making progress on mail from incarcerated people. The ORAs are responding to mail, but Tate is reviewing the responses and giving guidance. Mail from incarcerated people often discusses issues beyond the scope of the commission. The ORAs spoke about getting aggressive mail from frustrated people. Tate said to empathize with their frustration and respond clearly as possible with the PC’s scope and his intentions.

Tate has also requested people stop contacting him about parole through unofficial channels. He wants to be fair and make sure everyone has the same chance, and the best way to make that happen is for everyone to follow the same process. Its my opinion that the official process has always been really unfair, but it’s also clear that bothering Tate at his Racine office or home phone or address will hurt more than help. Violating the boundaries of the guy who decides whether or not you should be released is maybe the worst thing you can do.