Post two edition 17 BOV

pages 4 and 5
By anonymous prisoner , waived into adult court as juvenile

Congratulations, you graduated/ but no one will announce your name. There will be no roll call, no acceptance speech. And no, you did not make the deans list. No mother, no father, no sister, no brother to cheer your name. No one came to honor you. You simply graduated.

To receive such a prestigious award, you survived a household of trauma. But there is no blue ribbon because your father left you at an early age. You don't get a Most Courageous of the Year Award Trophy because you lived through the family secret and your mother's shame. At the hands of someone you trusted, they did awful things to you. There is no B.A., no Master's Degree.

Your degrees are third degrees, burns that run from your face to your torso. From hot grease thrown on you because your mother says that every time she looks at you she sees your father. A mathematician could never have seen that in your future. Besides, you are too damn stupid for that. Do you want to be a mathematician? We’ll solve that problem. One mother on crack, minus a father who is not even a part of your life, divided by drugs, alcohol, and dropping out of school. Equals committing a crime, ending up in prison, or dead.

Yeah, say "Congratulations" as you look into the mirror. You have come to hate the guy who stares back at you, because sometimes he believes everything people said about you. You're ugly, will never amount to anything, a mistake. Suck it up. Real men aren't supposed to cry. But the only thing he can remember was when he was this boy. At the age of 33 he is still stuck at 11.

Congratulations on your Graduation.
This time you have made a stand. You are honored for your silent courage. You are praised for your resilience. Not backing down when life smacked you around. Congratulations, you graduated from a school that had no dreams. The teachers all failed but you passed. .
Congratulations you Graduated. You chose not to stay in a box, did not make excuses. You chose not to allow your past to say who you are now. There is no need for a cap and gown, please be proud of who you've become. Hold your head up and stand tall, yeah that's it now smile for the camera. You made it. Not how others think you should have, but you made it......"Congratulations on your Graduation......

This is for anyone who has gone through anything in your life. I want you to understand that you have graduated from a school of life. If you are still in your right mind, I think you should be proud of yourself. Not for the many bad things that happen to you, but for making it this far. It counts for something .Congratulations.
Pam Oliver, UW sociologist and researcher:"I have become convinced that the high incarceration rate of African Americans is one of the great evils of our time. I believe members of the white majority need to educate themselves about what is going on, speak up, and stop supporting politicians who try to win our votes with “tough on crime” rhetoric. At the same time, we must not forget the reality of serious crime, and inform ourselves about what is known about crime prevention as well as the effects of poverty and racial discrimination. With less injustice, we can have more safety and order. We need to let our policies be guided by reason, evidence, compassion and fairness rather than sound-bites, slogans, and political opportunism. "
from: Some Facts About Race and Prison in Wisconsin (www.ssc.wisc.edu/~oliver/RACIAL/RacialDisparities.htm)
(end of page4)

Some Gleanings from studies: pg5
1) According to Department of Corrections (DOC) estimates, between 2009 and 2019, the state will spend $1.4 billion on new prison construction costs and over $1 billion on operations ( www.pewcenteronthestates.org)
2) New WITax Study says "Study the Minnesota way" (WI is the dark upper line)

Wisconsin spent $1.08 billion on corrections in 2008, compared to $460 million in Minnesota. MI has 12,000 fewer prisoners than WI with similar populations. MN puts its funding into community programs and probation, and has the same crime rate as WI.
Per capita spending here was 23% above the average for the 11 states with violent crime rates comparable within 10% of Wisconsin’s.
Prison 20 times more expensive than Probation The average daily cost of probation or parole supervision in 2008 was $3.42. The average cost of a prison inmate was $78.95. That’s 20 times more than probation/parole. (See whole report at www.wistax.org; Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance)
Who’s in prison?
3) According to JFA study, Unlocking America, FEW RELEASED PRISONERS RETURN TO SERIOUS CRIME. RECIDIVISM RATES ARE MOSTLY DUE TO PAROLE RULES VIOLATIONS. Wisconsin is one of the few states in which an ex prisoner does not have to be charged with a felony or tried in court to be re-incarcerated (www.jfa-associates.com-click on UNLOCKING AMERICA)
4) Increased incarceration rates can be linked, in part, to tripling of drug arrests since 1980, spurred by the Reagan administration’s “war on drugs” policy in 1982. Mandatory sentencing laws enacted in every state over the same period have also increased the average time spent in prison for drug offenses, from 22 months in 1986 to 62 months in 1999. Although one might expect the arrests targeted dangerous and life-threatening drug use, more than 40% of drug arrests in 1999 were for marijuana offenses. From: THE EFFECT OF CHILD SUPPORT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ON LOW INCOME FAMILIES” by The Center on Fathers, Families, and Public Policy, CFFPP ;www.cffpp.org
5) (Also from CFFPP above) 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.”
From: THE EFFECT OF CHILD SUPPORT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ON LOW INCOME FAMILIES” by The Center on Fathers, Families, and Public Policy, CFFPP ;www.cffpp.org

No comments: