As part of our campaign to promote forgiveness and reconciliation, we need your views and ideas. We ask you to help us find a good balance between safety, punishment and justice as we craft 2 bills for our legislature. Some questions ask for checks or Xs’, some circling, some word answers. At the end of each answer we have provided space for you to write a longer answer. Feel free to use another sheet also. Thank you for helping.
1) How would you rate the current financial spending in corrections?
Good bad poor unnecessary not enough
2) How important is the danger factor in your decision making about releasing prisoners?
3) According to the non-profit WISTAX, Minnesota, which relies on probation and parole instead of prison; in 2008 spent 480 million on corrections compared to Wisconsin’s 1.1 billion and has 12,000 fewer prisoners.
Should the Wisconsin Legislature study the details of how Minnesota does Corrections and perhaps follow suit? yes_______________ no______________
What another state does has nothing to do with us____________
6) The law FFUP is drafting would provide a release path for juveniles who have spent at least 15 years in prison and are rehabilitated. Could you support such a bill?
If yes, how would the juvenile, now adult, prove he is ready for release?
7) One of our Juvenile bills sets up a board of 12 community members to decide if the prisoner is ready for parole. The panel question and engage the person seeking release and the prisoner will be able to present testimony by family, DOC staff and others. They can show programs taken and writing projects done. Victims will be allowed to testify. Could you support such a bill yes_____________ no _______________
If not, What do you think is a required check list of programs these prisoners should complete before being released : Note: Vocational, anger management, and responsible thinking are 3 programs are already required. Suggestions__________________________________________________________________
8) Could you support a WI bill that provides a realistic pathway for the release of elderly prisoners? Yes____ no__________ What do you think is a required check list of programs these prisoners should complete before being released : Note: Vocational, anger management, and responsible thinking are 3 programs already required. Suggestions:_______________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
9) There are three factors that drive the legislative push to release the elderly
a) The cost for the elderly prisoner is three times the younger, about 22 thousand for younger prisoners, 68 thousand for elderly
b) According to US justice statistics, only 1.4 percent of parolees 55 years and older get into trouble with the law.
c) A prisoner is considered elderly at 55 as he/she will have same health symptoms as people in “free” population who are 8 to 10 years older, due to the stress of prison life and other actors.
Does reading these statistics/facts change your opinion about holding someone for life?
No.______ money or dangerousness should not be a factor in whether someone is released. “You do the crime, do the time."
Yes_______ prison’s main function is public safety. We are wasting money and lives.
11) Georgetown University’s POPS program (The Project for Older Prisoners) gives law students credit for working with older prisoners and helping them get a parole plan together and locate housing and support.
Should Wi legislature study the pops program and possibly do the same? yes___________________ no____________________other_______________________________________________
12) Do you believe a person can change? Yes____no__________