Monday, July 8, 2013


Forum for Understanding Prisons :
Mission statement
SEPTEMBER 2013 newsletter!!
June 2013 newsletter
march 2013 newsletter
contact info
donating and how funds are spent


Help us get the job done- bring our brothers and sisters home
2009 Rally in front of Parole commission

1) We Give voice to prisoners though blogs and website. Hundreds of prisoners have their stories, art and writings on our web and blogs. See list of blogs by subject and prisoner's name

We need to Put pressure on DOC and congress to release prisoners who are eligible and ready for parole. WI is spending $20 to 60 thousand a year each on 4000 plus “Old Law” prisoners: those convicted before the truth in sentencing law in 1991. This law required future sentences to be restructured and served in full. The DOC policy is to hold each of the “Old law” prisoners for as long as possible even though all are eligible for release and many committed their crimes 30 or more years ago and are now different men.
here is survey, pamphlet and petition from 2010- help us update- we need your ideas. 
coming FFUP petition

3) Elderly release Bill. We are working with legislators, members law school professors and others to put together an elderly release bill, addressing the looming health care crisis in our prison’s caused by the parole boards refusal to release eligible prisoners . We have some key legislative support will use this bill to show the legislature that it is both fiscally wise and very safe to give a second chance to prisoners who are no longer dangerous.

  5)  Pathway for JUVENILES:We hope to use this as a pathway to secure release for the many prisoner sentenced in adult courts as juveniles and serving sentences far too long.
                    see blog of individual prisoner's stories 

A major work is with the mentally ill in segregation units, many of whom try to harm themselves, and with those we consider political prisoners that find themselves forever entombed in solitary. Here we often establish close relationships through letter writing. Advocacy, calling and writing authorities and activist organizations on their behalf is especially heartrending for the conditions of confinement in these “Seg Hells”are horrendous.
        We have established a committee to gather with other segregation advocacy groups, gather experts and concerned people to form a powerful block to force change. (see WCEHTP, Wisconsin Committee for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Prisoners) WI health leadership is progressive, has establish a model mental health unit but is unable to implement  it widely for lack of funding. FFUP is also working with individual prisoners ,helping them find experts for their lawsuits, which include class actions that would force the DOC to build more units like the model ones that have been tried here.
                                       WCEHTP an introduction
                                          mission statement
                                     documents inmates provide
                                     endorsement statement
                                    stress questionnaire for prisoners

ACLU has a model health unit which prisoners say would work in Wisconsin. Click here to view details

 2We work with the WISDOM Campaign called 11X15(sign their petition), to promote funding of alternatives to prison. Sign Wisdom petition. , plus we have general education campaign to show legislature that they can drop their knee jerk tough on crime stand and to advance a wiser prison policy which has prevention and treatment as first priorities and uses incarceration last. Coming: survey and petition, pamphlets.

Hub of work is directly with prisoners:
 Answering letters from prisoners and advocating for them.  This takes most of our time and what keeps us going: The giving goes both ways .We advocate for prisoners with many calls and letters and we also try to teach prisoners and family members to advocate for themselves.

    Purchasing neccessities for prisoners:items like stamped envelops, paper, hygiene items are in very short supply. Books(zenni starting at 10 dollars), release clothes from thrift shop, and an enormous amount of copying and mailing are on our list.  click here for more details

    Our newsletter. Bridge of Voices, written for prisoners, is very popular and contains many inmate submissions.
June 2013 Bridge of Voices
March 2013 Bridge of Voices
August 2012 Bridge of Voices- lots of law, supreme court etc
parole newsletter of a few years ago-still good

 We Give voice to prisoners though blogs and website. Hundreds of prisoners have their stories, art and writings on our web and blogs. See list of blogs by subject and prisoner's name

3) PENPALS We try to Reconnect prisoners with society and encouraging the public to get to know the human face of prisons.All prisoners want a penpal- this we tell all our blog readers in hopes they will fell free to send an encouraging note to any prisoner on our blogs. But we also have a penpal club blog and many blogs specifically for encouraging the public to write to prisoners. Also , any time you write a helpful comment on a prisoners post or blog, we send it to the prisoner. We provide a forwarding address for those who want to write a prisoner but do not want to give their own address.Email us for more information 

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          2008 rally by families of prisoners in front of the WI DOC headquarters                    FAMILIES for a  SECOND CHANCE   WE invi...