new campaign= your emails and letters needed

NEW: HELP OPEN PAROLE with your support letters and emails to Parole Chairman TATE! Starting September first 2021,we will be posting stories and documents of prisoners asking for support letters to Parole Chairman Tate for their upcoming hearings and Tate's review. Their documents will be here to provide proof of statements made and we ask that readers consider helping by writing or emailing the chairman. Before I started this work , I wrote regularly for Amnesty International- they would send out stories of those needing support in struggles against foreign totalitarian regimes and it helped. Now we can do the same here for a for people entombed in a system that destroys them , their communities and families- ALL COMMISSION DECISIONS ARE REVIEWED BY THE CHAIRMAN and he does overrule, so you letters can make a big difference. please help. Peg Swan, Founder, Forum for Understanding Prisons ( FFUP),a 501c3 non-profit,

Sunday, October 17, 2021



It will take many miracles to help most of the wrongly held Wisconsin prisoners but for three prisoners, your letters may do it. Templates are here to cut and paste to letter or email if you decide to help.

FFUP has been working with three men who are at the end of their emotional and physical tethers and are at a point where a push in the right direction may free them. I am sending emails people who know my work with links to a newly updated web in hope that we can finally free these men. Please help spread the word- education of the public on the heartbreaking fiasco committed in our name is essential.

For DOC profiles on these men see:; type in DOC number to pull up data and conviction

Juan Navarro

      1)   Juan Navarro 136027,WSPF

Juan killed a man who was attacking him with a knife, had two witnesses testifying this but he was still convicted. He was here on a green card from Mexico and was ordered deported; but 40 years later he is still entombed, is 72 and ill. He was denied a pardon and compassionate release. His parole was again denied in October and now the case goes to Chairmand Tate who does review all commission decisions and does sometime overrule denials. 

Your email or letter could make the difference here. Link here to more info and template letter you can cut and paste.      

               2)Raynell Morgan 279380 NLCI

Kamau ( Raynell Morgan)

2)Raynell Morgan (from here :Kamau) was in solitary for 14 years and has all the difficult symptoms those conditions can cause. Since being released from solitary he has worked hard to gain stability, using language learning as a basic tool to control his personal heebeejeebees (“snap crackle pops” in his head, sensations of bugs crawling etcetc) and has navigated well the various obstacles put in his path by the DOC -until this point. After no conduct report since 2010, and at a critical time when he is about to have a crucial parole hearing, he was issued a major conduct report for a minor infraction and put back into solitary.   

         Although this complicated situation is slowly working itself out ( he has witnesses that the alleged “threats “ did not happen-) this CR WILL be used to deny him the release he sorely needs. He is afraid he will not endure much longer and although with advocacy from allies and family he does finally get some satisfaction, he is exhausted and losing his will to live. ( note: since the above was written, Kamau has been released for solitary but the continued denial of his basci needs continues and his upcoming parole hearing is vitally important. Your letters can make the difference for he has long been elligible and ready to go home. Like the others, only politics keeps him entombed.

Here is our help-Letter template to cut and paste here:      

For DOC profiles on these men see:; type in DOC number to pull up data and conviction

3) Sad notice on Dominic Marak ( below)-   Dominic Died Thursday, October 28th. I learned this when tried to set up a zoom visit with him.  He was in such pain, I am glad for him. He wanted to "pay it forward", as he said , and submit a lawsuit that woudl open up compassionate release for others- The suit is ready and was waiting for his signature with notary public, but that did not happen - he was too sick by the time we got it ready. 

So now we ask you to still write letters expressing your outrage that there is no compassionate release for people like Dominic- to Tate but also to Evers. I will be confer with others and will have more ideas of how to carry on Dominic's legacy.    

Dominic Marak

3) The corker is Dominic Marak and I have trouble writing about 
him without crying- he has incurable cancer and is dying, has a few months to live. Yet the DOC is denying him release to his family or hospice care situation where his family and friends can be with him at will. Courageously, he is filing suit against their sadistically false interpretation of the document that allows compassionate release for Old law Prisoners ( OL prisoners convicted of crimes convicted before 2000 / As it is interpreted, NO Old Law prisoner is eligible) . He is filing to open up the compassionate release option EVEN THOUGH he will not live to see its’ fruition.In his last letter  he said ”LETS GIVE EM HELL!    

ALSO because NO WI PRISONER can receive a pardon ( you have to be out for 5 years), that avenue is closed to him.

With Dominic's case it becomes clear that what we fear, The DOC intends to hold on to  old law prisoners until they die if possible, eeking every dime it can from them.  Where is our humanity-

 we ask for emails to Tate- 

template here- it needs to be email so it is not just put in his file to sit till June, his parole date (which he will not make ) Link to his post:

FINALLY :background to the parole fiasco for those interested:

 Wisconsin is often in the news as an outlier as far as it's treatment of Blacks and the vulnerable, you only have to look at today's statistics:

in Friday's email: WI -worst per capita incarceration rate of Blacks in the nation/plus WI schools call the cops on Native American kids the most. Here is email blurb and link to larger article:

‘A slap in the face’: Wisconsin imprisons 1 in 36 Black adults, highest U.S. rate

October 15, 2021

Of note: This week we highlight our story revealing that Wisconsin has the highest Black incarceration rate in the United States. According to a new analysis from The Sentencing Project, Wisconsin imprisons one out of every 36 Black adults in the state. The analysis also examined the disparity in imprisonment rates between Black and white people, Clare Amari reports for Wisconsin Watch. Nationwide, Black adults are imprisoned at nearly five times the rate of white Americans, the report found. In Wisconsin, the ratio is far higher: Nearly 12 times the rate. The report cites pervasive racial bias across the criminal justice system.

Read story here:


On the radio last week : WI :highest infant and new mother mortality rate in the nation

until a few years ago, WI: the paid the lowest wages to public defenders ( in response, wage was raised a few dollars)

Always : WI among the lowest scoring for math and reading among Blacks

But we have a systemic problem that effects every prisoner and their families and the lives of all Wisconsin citizens- we are holding prisoners that are no longer dangerous or never were a threat, for as long as is legally possible while the DOC literally dumps those it legally must release on the streets with little or no support. The first group are called "Old law prisoners", (OL) and the second "Truth in sentencing"  prisoners-(TIS) .

This may seem complicated but FFUP deals with it everyday. TIS prisoners are younger and many are mentally ill and'/or need basic treatment and cannot get it because of overcrowding, understaffing and the DOCs total lack of will to fulfill its mission. These TIS prisoners usually end up in solitary for the duration of their time and then are release because the law mandates it- released with little or no support after getting little or no treatment. Last winter, FFUP effectively worked with many desperate newly released prisoners and was able to help them stabilize with personal stimulus funds but what now?

We need to help educate the public on the fiasco our tax money is funding and writing these letters and forwarding the email you get and the link to this website is one way to easily do that.

Here is a chart that points out another reason to care- we are now funding prisons, not schools. When I was a youngin' an in state college education coast 200 dollars in tuition a semester in WI. my husband went for free in NY. WI had 7000 prisoners then, it now has 22000- and noone can afford the tuition. Student debt is crippling a generation.

                                    SOLUTIONS WE WORK ON


       1) Almost half of new admissions in WI prisoners are revocations for rule violations

       2)Prisoners over thirty committed few crimes _ All the nearly 2000 old law prisoners are over 30- give them real chance at parole

       3) Make pardons and compassionate release and sentence modification petitions work again. People who have turned their lives around need and deserve a second chance and we as citizens need to stop supporting a system that goes after money and political gain only. The DOC as it is now keeps the public safe nor rehabilitates prisoners.

GUT PUNCHED: no pardon for prisoners after months of promises:


B)Build treatment center for the mentally ill modeled on the one court mandated for the women’s prison in Fond du Lac


  Link to DOC report first put out when the center was opened/model  for Men’s Prisons?            mental health treatment center in Fond du Lac WI..  home of Women’s prison TCI ( Taychedah Correctional Institution)

1)Power Point Close look at the mental health treatment center built for TCI, the women’s prison, as part of the lawsuit: Flynn Vs Doyle,06-C-0537. (11 pages)


                                                FFUP Edited view  

C) FIX staff shortages by making the WI prison system a satisfying place to work. As it is now, because the mantra is “PUNISHMENT” almost entirely, there is little job satisfaction and especially in the solitary units, we find that the conditions easily lead to sadistic practices. Many people leave as soon as it is economically feasible for them. The DOC will tell you the pandemic is to blame for all staff shortages. program closure and all the rest- but these are all long standing problems that the pandemic only made worse.

            For date on this See 2019 ([pre-pandemic) report by Ben Turk, long time Activist.


D)We have found that there are dedicated staff in the DOC , doing good work but the effect is muted by an overall policy that offers no staff accountability, The inmate complaint system and PREA systems are completely broken and even when a prisoner sins a lawsuit and gets a settlement, the DOC pays nothing- it is you and I that foot the bill. The rotten fruit on the staff have free reign to rule and those staff honest and  helpful have to be very discreet. This is especially true in the solitary units.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

LAST CHANCE for Modicum of Justice: Juan Navarro, Wrongly convicted Mexican national, Asks for you support

Juan Navarro
136027; WSPF 
            we start our campaign with Juan Navarro
Juan Navarro, wrongly convicted, has served almost 40 years and needs your support for release now. 

   He is 72, has had a stroke and surgery and has been eligible for parole since 1993. Juan had two witnesses who testified that he was attacked by a man with a knife and he shot in self defense. But  he was convicted anyway and ordered deported. And again the system failed him: because we have no treaty for deportation with Mexico, he has been buried in maximum security prisons in WI for 40 years.  His  niece waits for his release and gladly offers him a home and the support he needs .

Wendy Mann-Flores, Juan's Niece


We find that those wrongly convicted have the hardest time in prison= the daily humiliation and abuse is especially hard on those who feel they should not be there at all.  And for Juan, who did not know the language well, it has been especially hard. 

After you look at the documents and details posted here, please write a letter to Wisconsin Parole Chairman John Tate asking for the release of Juan Navarro

Here is a Template:

John Tate, Chairman

WI Parole Commission

PO Box 7960

Madison, WI 53707



                             RE: Parole for Juan Navarro 1316027 WSPF  

Chairman Tate:

          I ask you to address a heartbreaking miscarriage of Justice.  Juan Navarro, a citizen of Mexico with a green card, killed a man 40 years ago and has been eligible for parole since 1993. There were two witnesses testifying that he acted in self defense but he was convicted anyway. The judge ordered him deported but here he still sits.

He recently had a parole hearing where he was again denied. The parole denial statement hamnered again on his crime 40 years ago. Innocent or not, this man has served his sentence and under the law which was in place when he was sentenced, he has been eligible for parole for decades. 

Prison has been especially hard for Juan because he does not  know the language well and is easily taken advantage of.  He is 72 years old , has had a stroke and two surgeries; he has a niece pleading for his release so he can spend his last years with her.

      Please do the right thing and release this man. It is time. 

I thank you for your attention.

your name and contact information

Letter to John Tate from activist BenTurk:

From: BEN TURK []

Sent: Monday, August 9, 2021 12:55 PM
To: DOC Parole Commission <>
Subject: Support letter for Juan Navarro


I am writing to support the release of Juan Navarro. Juan is a Mexican national who has been eligible for parole since 1993. He wants to be released so he can be deported to Mexico.

I cannot imagine any reasonable or fair explanation for continuing his imprisonment. Why could it be in the interests of the people of Wisconsin to hold this aging man in our prisons rather than letting him go home to Mexico, where at least the legal system won't neglect and mistreat him for not knowing the language and for being brown.

I spoke with Juan's niece Wendy a few months ago. She said Juan gave up hope on parole hearings after repeated defers. There are witnesses who have testified that he acted in self defense, but the US legal system failed him and put him into prisons operated by racists for decades. He has abundant reason to be frustrated, distrustful, and impatient with the system, including the parole commissioners who keep deferring him. I sincerely hope you do not continue to harm this man based on a commissioner's subjective feelings about his statements at the hearing. Someone who has been through what he has been through, who has lost decades of his life to an unjust bureaucracy, should not be required to pretend he wasn't hurt and wronged by you all.

Wendy and other loving family members, both in the US and in Mexico are willing to help support Juan after release. Please stop hurting him and his family. Grant him a release at his upcoming hearing.

 Thank you, Ben Turk

Now for the details and documents:

in his latest letter, Juan  explains in a letter that the Judge in his case did not give the jury the choice of a self defense or manslaughter option (see)

here is his conviction story: 

But whether you believe he is innocent of murder or not- this man has served his time. When he was convicted, a life sentence meant 12 years and the parole if you showed  yourself ready for release- that all changed with the 90's prison bill and now prisoners are big money . Juan's niece waits for him to come home. He is old and sick and there is no justification in holding him. 

Here are Juan's deportation documents and he health documents:

Juan's application for executive Clemency:


Please send an email to the parole Chairman John Tate. He will be reviewing the parole commission's decisions and often give people a second chance by overruling their almost universal denials.. .,

Any questions, feel free to contact us at

Kamau at the end of his endurance- Can you help?

 Raynell Morgan 279230, Kamau TZ Damali,

Kamau( Raynell Morgan) with family

went to prison at age 17 in 1994 and spent over 14 years in solitary confinement. This writer visited him regularly while he was in the famed SUPERMAX- the most restrictive solitary confinement institution in the state, (some said country). His physical and mental health deteriorated dramatically but no outreach or complaining helped. Finally, when he began complaining loudly about bugs crawling on him and he was bleeding from constant hand washing and scrubbing and a host of other symptoms arose, he was transferred to another institution and slowly transitioned to general population. All his symptoms are typical of prisoners held in long term solitary. ( (see expert reports on solitary:

Until recently he still had many of his symptoms but kept them at bay with language learning and other focused activities-He has not had a conduct report since 2010. He started to  work on release and his parole with the intention of starting a nonprofit to help others in similar situations. 

But everything is at risk now and even his life is in danger. The present crisis began when he was put in a double cell after all these years of single celling either in solitary and lately in general. He stopped sleeping, afraid he would be attacked by his cell mate. In response to what he calls a minor infraction ( an argument ), he was given a major conduct report and put back in solitary. He believes this conduct report is an attempt by the DOC to derail his parole- and with it his hope for the future. 

His weaknesses are his  phobias: He requires his food be packaged, he must wear gloves and he cannot drink tap water . because in his years of solitary, he acquired deep  germ phobia and a belief that his food and water is tampered with..

Now he is in big trouble> All his symptoms are back full blown. Some of his special needs are being honored ( wrapped sandwiches and ensure)  but not the most important one- he is not being given bottled water which in general population he would buy on canteen. He is so dry he cannot keep his food down and has lost 20 pounds. The ensure is not enough liquid despite the Special Needs Committee's assurances. This committee oversees health care outlays in the DOC and according to Kamau, has no health professional on it. What in the world is the matter that this man cannot have his water? 

Kamau is at the end of his endurance- he needs home and family and work activities that help him focus and make him feel fulfilled. He applied for a pardon but Governor Evers nixed all pardons for prisoners and also filed for compassionate release, which is also not available to old law prisoners ( those convicted of crimes committed before 2000. ( we are appealing the general compassionate release denial in court) .

We ask  you to write Chairman Tate in support for parole for Raynell Morgan. Ask the chairman to evaluate Raynell on his years of conduct report free living and his stalwart struggle to regain mental balance after 14 years of solitary torture. although the noises in his head ("snap crackle pop" he calls then) and bugs crawling will probably always be there, with family love and access to the loving power of nature, he will heal and learn to keep the symptoms that remain way in the background. 

Prison as nothing to offer Kamau, no one benefits form his continued entombment and he himself thinks he will die soon under present circumstances. He has much to give to the world . some of his writing are linked at end of this post.

here is template to cut and paste and send to Chairman Tate:

Template for letter to Parole Chairman John Tate

To John Tate,  Chairman

Parole Commission

PO Box 7960;

Madison, WI 53707

                                parole for Raynell Morgan 279380 .

I am writing in support of parole for Raynell Morgan.  He was incarcerated as a juvenile and spent 14 years in intolerable solitary confinement, acquiring all the classic symptoms of people too long confined alone . The world is waking up to both the  detrimental effects of solitary and the injustice of waving juveniles into adult court- their brains are not developed enough to comprehend the effects of their deeds. 

Raynell Morgan ( Kamau from here forward) is a victim of both-solitary confinement torture and unjust conviction of juveniles. I ask  you to give him a chance to really heal- to be back with his family and to be able to engage in meaningful activities. All this will heal him. He has not had a conduct report since 2010 and believes this recent conduct report is an attempt to derail his release. 

Raynell has weakness and phobias yes, but they will be better managed while out, where he can get the support he needs. The WI DOC has done enough to this man. Please give him his freedom. 

your name and address

more reading: 

Kamau's story in his own words in a letter to Governor Evers: :

2019 parole decision:

 His bid for a pardon along with 126 others- the response was to block all prisoners from parole- only those out for at least 5 years can be pardoned,

Letter from Kamau's aunt to Chairman Tate:

FFUP to Chairman Tate in support of compassionate Release 2019

some of his writings

10 selections :

some writings by title: 

Life After segregation:

 Breaking america;s Chains:

The psychology of the N word:

Dear Woman:

The 14 Principals:

Dominic Marak, Dying of cancer, is denied Compassionate Release

Dominic Marak in 2018 with his mother and father

Dominic Marak has  few months to live. He has incurable cancer and at this writing, all treatments to cure have stopped and he is on the prison' version of hospice care. We are asking you to write or email Chairman Tate to ask him to release Dominic to his home or  a facility where family and friends can be with him as they will. Dominic has applied for compassionate release but has been denied because of an awesome misreading of the procedure that would have allowed him release. 

After reading the documents and letters below, please write or email Chairman Tate, asking him to release  Dominic so he can spend his last months with his family and friends.

Here is a template:
John Tate, Parole Chairman
Parole Commission
PO Box 7960
Madison, WI 53707

               Re: Release Dominic Marak 152875; OSCI PO BOX 3310;Oshkosh, WI 54903



Dominic Marak has a few months to live. He is dying of terminal cancer. His doctors have gone through all possible remediations, the cancer aggressively returns and he is now on palliative care. He wants above all to be with his family in his last months, which will be brutally painful.

Dominic is 55, has been in prison 22 years. Here is his explanation: “I have been behind bars since February 20th, 1999 for a series of crimes meeting underage females on line. The crimes range from actual sexual intercourse to a kiss on the cheek with sexually suggestive talk(20 years). When I came to prison I was mad at the world and blamed everybody for my imprisonment but the true culprit: myself. One day, I looked in a mirror and wondered what happened to me. I had once been a good human being and devolved into a human piece of trash. From that day on, I worked to become the man I am today.”

He applied for Compassionate Release through Executive Directive 31 and was denied because he has served more time than25% of his sentence. There was no question of the nature of his cancer or his readiness for release.

This is absurd and this is a gross misreading of Executive Directive #31.   You are Dominic's only chance here for he will not live till his parole date next June. He  needs your  help now. I can see no rational explanation for this denial. Where is the parole Commission's humanity? Please Help. 
your name and contact information

Here is Dominic's Story in his own words:

Dominic Marak 152875 OSCI,

         BD1965. 55 years old, eligible for parole since 2016/From June 2021 Letter  

       My name is Dominic Marak.  I am 55 years old and a prisoner confined in the Red Granite prison (now in OSCI). I have been behind bars since February 20th, 1999 for a series of crimes meeting underage females on line. The crimes range from actual sexual  intercourse to a kiss on the cheek with sexually suggestive  talk(20  years).

          When I came to prison I was mad at the world and blamed everybody for my imprisonment but the  true culprit: myself. One day, I looked in a mirror and wondered what happened to me. I had once been a  good human being and devolved into a human piece of trash. From that day on, I worked to become the  man I am today.

          I'm a good, decent, lawful citizen, who despite being imprisoned, works through prison’s hurdles to give back to his community.

         In late December of 2019, after 20 years in a maximum security prison I was transferred to Red Granite. Within six months I began to feel ill   In October 2, 2019 I was diagnosed with TP53 mantle cell lymphoma, an incurable, highly aggressive cancer with median life expectancy of 18 months. By the time the DOC finally got me diagnosed (initially they treated me for Constipation), I was in a wheelchair, diapers, unable to stand to shower, and requiring help to get dressed. UW health diagnosed me as being malnourished and suffering from a protein deficiency, despite being under DOC care the entire time.

The pain and suffering I was in during was more than I ever believed a human being could endure. It is beyond putting into words

          on October 23rd 2019, I was emergency admitted to UW Health to stabilize me prior to beginning treatment. After being returned to prison I was put in several various stages of solitary confinement for my own benefit, before being transferred to the Infirmary at the Dodge prison> While at Dodge I was held in a cell for two months with a state issued TV and no property.

          When my health improved I was returned to Red Granite in early January 2020, where I continued to replace on and off in solitary confinement for my own health.

UW gave me 3 directives: put on and keep on weight, exercise; keep clean. I was back to running and lifting weights on a daily basis. I had achieved full remission.

         While in solitary confinement in the summer of 2020 for leaving the prison for medical treatments, I learned I fell out of remission. Within weeks tumors began to pop up all over my head, neck and face, while others were detected through my body with a PET scan.

         A tumor near my near my right eye began pressing on my optical nerve blurring my vision requiring a pass to be worn over my right eye. We began a new series of  treatments and I received partial remission.  I relapsed in October but asked to be to hold off for the next line of treatment until after the holidays I wanted to enjoy Christmas and be with friends.. By the time we began the next treatment I was but a lump of flesh in a bed in incredible pain.

          Tumors in my sinus cavities kept me in pain and in bed except to get medication. After another stay at UW health and more solitary confinement because I had left the prison for medical reasons, I again achieved partial remission. CART-cell therapy was then planned because the team at UW realized how quickly my cancer mutated beyond every treatment. in April 2021 I underwent CART- cell therapy. on June 1st UW determined the treatment failed and having run out of ways to fight this disease switch to palliative care,

             I have too much throughout my body and it has been detected in my central nervous system. I have a tumor's mass on my neck pressing down on the nerves feeding my right shoulder and arm and fingers. this has caused severe pain, since improved through steroids, numbness, tingling, loss of range of motion, and extreme loss of strength.

           I am struggling to brush my teeth and hair, shave, bathe, dressing can be difficult and I require help cleaning up after myself. But I can still run because I don't need to use my right arm.

Because we no longer have any avenue to treat the cancer, I will quickly revert to my 2019 state. Constant extreme pain, inability to eat, wheelchair, diapers, requiring aid to do almost everything.

.From 10 9 21 letter

As I told you before, I'm on a decline. I was placed in the long term care(LTC) unit on Monday. I can no longer function on my own. They changed my diapers.

I am paralyzed below the waist. We need to get all this in motion prior to me dying. The nurse says things will continue advancing and when I nod out, which I do frequently, I will just go into a coma.

I hope that it is peaceful.

thank you again for joining me on this journey on this fight. Mustafa too,

The Atheist, the Muslim and you never said what you were. I wish they could see how people can get along regardless of belief.


 love, Dominic


Affidavit of physician attesting to Dominic Marak's condition:

Below is the executive order #31,compassionate release for old law prisoners ( those convicted before truth ( TIS) in sentencing was passed)

and the parole commission's denial and Dominic's complaint:

FFUP's letter to Chairman Tate:

Parole Commission's explanation of denial.( note: with this explanation NO OLD LAW prisoners are eligible for compassionate release since all, by definition, have served at least 25% of their time)

 Now in a heroic effort to help many of the nearly 3000 prisoners stuck in limbo, long ready and eligible for release but denied. He is filing a lawsuit asking the court to force the DOC  to review their interpretation of Executive order 31 so that those old law prisoners it addresses, are eligible for release when extraordinary circumstances confront them. He will not live for the long court struggle that will surely ensue so asks that his estate keep the case going after his death. This, he feels , is one way he can  give back.

rough draft of suit about to be filed ( 1021)

Friday, October 15, 2021

Update on the Old Law Freedom Campaign by Ben Turk

Update on the Old Law Freedom Campaign
written in 2020, soon to be updated

by Ben Turk

Since Governor Evers appointed John Tate II to replace Daniel Gabler as chair of the parole commission, many people sentenced under the old law and their families and loved ones have been cautiously excited. The election of Evers and appointment of Tate, a former social worker and Black alderperson from Racine held a promise of long awaited release.

Under Daniel Gabler—who is currently a Milwaukee county Judge seeking re-election on April 7—parole releases had diminished to almost nothing. Unfortunately, John Tate II has thus far been unable to restore the parole commission to its original purpose: releasing people from prison who were ready to return to society. By attending monthly parole commission meetings, corresponding with incarcerated people, and networking with other advocates, Forum for Understanding Prisons (FFUP) is working to help everyone understand why.

OLD LAW PRIMER- and how we got this way


A short Q & A
scroll down to find:

1)what is an old law prisoner
2)As taxpayer why should I care?
3)How do I know these people are no longer  dangerous?
4) AS human being why should I care?
5) How did we get here?
5) What is the solution? What is Second chance And FFUP proposing?

1)What is an Old Law Prisoner?
 Short Version: We have around 2500 prisoners who:

 •  WERE sentenced before 2000, all are over thirty  many are elderly and most pose no threat to the public.
 •  CAN prove themselves rehabilitated and ready for release.

•  ARE ELIGIBLE for parole, all have been for years, some for decades

 •  ACCORDING to the law of that time, they were eligible for parole at 25 % of sentence

 •  have been kept in prison through the use of unwritten contradictory rules


2)As taxpayer why should I care?
For the first time in history , Wisconsin taxpayers pay more  for prisons than we do for our whole university system . Many of us old timers went to college for around 500 dollars a semester now students are saddled with thousands and thousands of dollars of debt for the same education. We used to support our schools.

you are paying around 30 thousand dollars per year per old law prisoner, most  of whom have long been ready for release.

note: all old law prisoners are over 30, over 1000 prisoners are over 55, creating a crisis of the aged in prison. Prisons are built to house the young and healthy. Conditions for the elderly are inhumane. We are responsible for what goes on in our prisons as we do pay for them. 

More of the consequences of  No Parole Policies
examples and stories clarifying each of these points coming.

a) Mission of rehabilitation has been abandoned in favor of warehousing
b) Overcrowding and understaffing makes dangerous conditions for both staff and prisoners
c) No treatment for the mentally ill, little programming and treatment for others. 
d) The irony of holding rehabilitated Old law prisoners saying they present a "risk to the public" is this: 
Prisoners who came into the prison after 2000 are called "truth in Sentencing "
or TIS prisoners. They are often released to the streets without any training or treatment. The courts do not mandate it and for many, even if they beg for treatment, there is none available to them. How does that make us safer?
e) For the first time in history we spend more on prisons than on our University system. We used to support our schools and no longer as the mountains of student debt our kids now hold testifies. Yet the DOC is not rehabilitating and is not making us safer.

3)How do I know these people are no longer  dangerous?
three points:

ONE) Studies show that most non corporate crime is committed by people under thirty. Period.  Below is a recent and incredibly detailed study by the ACLU that went state by state to get data and found that after 30, the percentage of prisoners to reoffend  was 6 %, after 55 it dropped to zero. This and studies by the FOB and other organizations  showing similar findings  need to be given much consideration when deciding whether and elderly inmate, once violent, is still a danger. People change. All old law prisoners are over thirty (crimes committed 15 plus years ago) and about a third of our nearly three thousand old law prisoners are over 55. Many are fathers, grandfathers.  
Crime Declines Precipitously With AGE for ALL Crimes    Research has conclusively shown that long before age 50, most people have outlived the years in which they are most likely to commit crimes. Even when examining data on arrests that may not lead to conviction or indicate guilt, this holds true. For example, the figure below shows the percentage of individuals arrested nationally by age in 2004. Less than6% of individuals ages 30-34 were arrested ( nearly 14 % for 19 year olds), whereas a little over 2% of individuals ages 50-54 were arrested and almost 0% of those age 65 and older were arrested. This trend of decreasing crime rates from adulthood to old age has held constant overtime, as shown by the 1979 arrest curve

TWO) Before 2000, when truth in sentencing came in and funds for treatment and education were cut, these old law prisoners had access to good treatment and education programs. PELL grants funded college degrees for many of these prisoners and some have multiple degrees going to waste. We propose a program that will allow the release of those prisoner who can prove they are ready.  In the present system old law prisoners do not get paroled until a few months before they have to be released by law or at that date, called MR date. For prisoners who were given a life sentence, which at the time of sentencing meant release after 13 1/2 years if the prisoners was rehabilitated. They system worked before 2000 and can work again, providing safe release of those who are ready.  Most old law prisoners are father or grandfathers who want to be home with their families and are sorely needed. 

We believe that the above information and the data from many studies showing dramatic risk reduction with increased age, gives the DOC a mandate to change present PAC rules to eliminate the power of the parole commission to use overly subjective criteria. With the addition to the hearing of advocates and other testimony from those who know the prisoner and can testify pro and con, the parole deciders will have the broad view needed to accurately and fairly assess the inmate’s readiness and the rehabilitated prisoners will be released to society where they belong.

4) AS human being why should I care?

Big questions, we will start with some studies, will continue the discussion later
1)The  moral & financial crisis caused by incarcerating too long
At America's Expense: the mass incarceration of the Elderly1212 in depth study click to view

Human Right Watch, HRW Old in Prison, 2012 study
click view pdf file

b) Devastated communities among minorities and the poor caused by overincarceration and targeting of minorities

                                      Black Imprisonment, a study by UWM/click to view

2012 From: THE EFFECT OF CHILD SUPPORT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ON LOW INCOME FAMILIES” by The Center on Fathers, Families, and Public Policy, CFFPP ;
 In Dane County, Wisconsin, arrest rates for African-Americans have been shown to be 35 times those of white residents. While arrest rates have soared generally, they are staggering for minorities… One-third of African-American males will spend some part of their life in jail compared to one in 20 white American males. When arrests for drug offenses are broken down by race, the disparity becomes yet more evident. In 1999, African-Americans represented 13% of monthly drug users in the United States, but 35% of those arrested for a drug crime, 53% of drug convictions, and 58% of drug-offender prisoners. The study notes remarks given during focus groups:
“You going to go to jail. It’s just like a scientific fact. I mean, you’re jail-bound when you come across the border to Wisconsin.” “You come to Madison on vacation, and leave on probation.”

5)How did all this Happen? How did we go from 7000 to 22 000 prisoners in a decade? 
evolution of a stuck system was no accident. View report on pdf file:
the story of Governor Thompson, 1994 And 21 billion in federal dollars. 

We went from 7000 to 22 thousand prisoners and almost total corruption stems from that .
historic documents Tommy Thompson's memo 1994
US Department of Justice to the then secretary of DOC