WI Research Team Meeting 4/6


  • Renee
  • Elmer
  • Peggy
  • Jeff

Check Ins:

  • Peggy – coming to terms not feeling at home at home. Works 3 jobs. Actually spending time at home now. Trying to feel comfortable at home by getting organized, cleaning, connecting with children. Did some arts 7 crafts. Keeping busy. 
  • Elmer – Spending time with kids, trying to support them, supporting friends and neighbors. Helped friend to fix washing machine. Being helpful and being there for people.
  • Renee – Went out for the first time the other day to turn in ballots and go to the bank. Went to a park. Needed nature. Needed to sit and cry. Helped process. Finally slept 8 hours per night since Friday. Learning new skills – how to chop wood, learning how to pickle brussel sprouts, make stewed tomatoes
  • Jeff – online yoga


  • What’s new? What challenges or questions do you have?
    • WI updates (5 min) – Last week Thurs DOC secretary put out a memo. Talked about who to decarcerate. Approx 1300 people that he’s releasing or already has released. We know he’s doing other things that weren’t included on the list. Some things happened outside state system. People being held at county jails he started with (nonviolent misdemeanors?). People on ATRs release from MSDF. 
      • Mentioned certain release. Nonviolent, non sex offenders being released
      • Had someone on the inside test positive at Columbia correctional. Peggy emailed XXX saying they aren’t testing people. In WI show how many people tested, how many tested positive, how many died. Asking them to also include recoveries. Showing more data now.
      • Only tested 43 people so far for COVID
    • Survival resources (5 min) – Christal & Elmer
      • Had emailed updates on draft letter to send out
      • Hopefully will send it out soon
      • Elmer translated into Spanish
      • Prison release – updates slowed down. Still adding updates. Added under reporting – added case law on people trying to get out and other orgs urging courts to release people. Wants to add some things about criminalizing violations. Will add that.  
    • Pressure campaign on Gov to release people (5 min) – Renee & Peggy
      • Been following the governor closely. His excuses he can’t get legislature to agree to make changes. He doesn’t want to override them and write orders like Scott Walker did. Eye opening to hear his excuses for not converting sentences or pardoning people. Primary election still on for tomorrow, still won’t intervene. 
        • Feeling stuck because he’s saying it’s illegal for him to intervene. Still having election tomorrow. Supreme court called Governor and legislators derelict.
        • There are options, some that we haven’t explored. Other people we may be able to target. Governor has the most power, but seems unwilling to act. 
          • Governor could let people go on temporary furloughs. 
            • Doesn’t want to do sentence computation
            • People eligible for “good time”
          • Who else can we target?
            • Parole boards
            • Judges – can resentence individuals, approve compassionate release
        • Need to get more specific with our ask, hold leaders accountable.
    • Federal campaign targeting AG William Barr & BOP Director (5 min) – Jeff
  • Discussion 11:30-11:40 (10 min): Where to focus this week?
    • Pressure parole board – 3 people, chair hasn’t been confirmed yet by legislature, unclear if he needs to be confirmed in order to grant parole. Might be automatically confirmed. Need to have specific ask. 
      • Parole board is letting people out who were set to be released soon
    • Judiciary – 973-195 sentence adjustment law that people might be able to apply for release, census reduction. If you did 75-80% of your sentence can put in for an adjustment. Courts approve or deny. Pandemic could build argument. DOC started handing out letters to people who qualify. Goes by felony type. Forms available at the law library. 
      • Enough time served
      • Extraordinary conditions
      • LAIP can help – legal assistance aid for prisoners – students in the WI system UW Madison
      • Forms people can submit
      • People can go through their own attorneys or do it themselves
      • Maybe class action
    • ACLU pursuing getting people out of county jails by talking with DAs
    • Governor
      • People been calling, emailing him, petitions, FFUP did drive-by honking outside his mansion and at MSDF
      • Madison
      • Peggy has friend who works for the governor. Peggy will call to ask 1. Why isn’t he more supportive or release and 2. How can we reach him. 
    • DOC secretary
      • Send him a thank you for what he has done. Still looking for more leadership. 
      • What’s his email address? Not sure, but know the formula, can try. Can also ask jamie in governor’s office. Not posted online. 
      • Warden emails aren’t online either.


  • Can we share research findings w FICPFM? How?
  • Rotate facilitator role?

Next Steps

  • Who will do what by when? What support do you need?
    • Elmer added campaign finance info to research files, can look for addresses. 
      • Will look for DOC secretary’s email
    • Renee’s mom employee of county gov, might have access to emails.
      • Renee will find out who is on parole board and try to get their emails. 
      • They share an email 
    • Peggy has friend who works for the governor. Peggy will call to ask 1. Why isn’t he more supportive or release and 2. How can we reach him. 
    • Reach out to friendly legislators to find out who to contact DOC, parole board, Governor, and how to get in touch with them.
    • Followup call tomorrow afternoon
    • 11am tomorrow – zoom

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