Saturday, April 21, 2018

IT's Spring-latest newsletter and gofundme campaign

Latest Newsletter:

FFUP'S GOFUNDME page-will be updated soon to include  new campaign explained here in page 9 and 10 of newsletter:
Bird Forest by DarRen Morris, Incarcerated as juvenile in WI prison system

        FFUP’s Future: I am 70 and infirmities are a’coming to my husband and I, and the warning bell has sounded that prisoners and I need to get some kind of structure for FFUP if what we have started here is to outlast me. I have an idea, the first leg of which I sent to litigators I work with in there. The response was good. For prisoners having issues with the prison that rise to the level of needing litigation, the plan is to connect you with a guide- not to do your case, but to guide you in learning the law or cooperate with you if you know the law and would like to make your case as consequential as possible.
        The bare bones of this we have been doing for a long time, albeit not consistently. Now, as the two lawsuits against the abuse of Act 355 attest, (see page one), single lawsuits have a hard time affecting change for all. The DOC is appealing the decisions and the money is still disappearing from prisoners’ accounts, although I hear a few prisons have voluntarily stopped the stealing. The Peter Long letter citing the fourteenth Amendment on page 3 possibly gives us a template for strategy building on the two cases won.
      I bring this up now because here is a good example of the need for combining efforts. I hope we can build a structure where we combine cases in either joinders or class actions to finally address the ongoing problems at their root and  get changes in the system as well as the money/damages that are usually the only positive result of single actions. The plan is to have well seasoned litigators help guide and /or work with prisoners who have similar complaints and file multiple plaintiff actions, either joinders or class actions as circumstances allow- For example: ADA complaints, lack of health care, PREA non existence are all piled up in FFUP’s inbox- we combine some of these.  There is also good possibility for a good go at one of the pillars that keep out parole system stuck.  The list of possibilities is long and if we work together, we can do this.
     FFUP will continue to help with stamps and paper and copying and will add paying filing fees and expenses of litigators who are working toward the bigger picture. At present FFUP is working with prisoners on a multiple plaintiff action against overuse and abuse of solitary which is soon to be filed and we are watching carefully the fate of what could be a far reaching effort on health care. Both these cases will be templates and show us paths forward.  We intend to help establish some balance in the system, to move us away from the anything goes punishment only ethic that seems to rule the WI DOC now.
           BUT WHERE IS THE money going TO COME FROM? Paying filing Fees? paying expenses for litigators? More stamps and paper / And and and. YES we need fundraising FFUP has a GOFUNDME account- it goes well considering it is neglected. GOFUNDME, for all the hype, goes nowhere unless you spend time using social network to spread it. I have no “social network” on the net and my prison work takes all the computer time I can handle. So after plumbing family and a few friends, I am done and they can give no more.  
         A) What I am thinking is that you, the prisoner, go to your families and ask them to go to their social networks and churches to help fund and help build a wider network. Together we can find ways of making real change. We can also influence the legislature, get bussing going again and a program to get prisoners connected before they leave prison. Oh the dreams FFUP has collected from prisoners and I have had over the years- they are possible still –we just have to connect finally. We can sell prisoners arts and crafts on the net. Again, I have tried that but we need someone committed to spending time on the internet spreading the word
.       B) So for starters, we need names and addresses of prison ministries in your churches- enough info that we can find a contact person to air this idea to. Ask you families what they think of the idea and if they will help.  Our gofundme account now is slated to help with stamps, paper, books and legal guides. With this new venture, we will have a new campaign and pay Filing fees ( when appropriate), and expenses for litigator helpers will be added. Also, if we really take off- solitary folk need their books, radios and tvs to survive- I do the headphones and antennae when I can but that is all.
       C) FFUP needs people to help with general social media work- for facebook, our numerous blogs, and all the rest. All lie mostly dormant as I can’t get there- an hour a week would make a lot of difference. Also we need help making campaign materials and proofreading, consulting on fliers and pamphlets.
       D) I know people need to make a living and get paid before spending a lot of time on any venture. We need to develop grants to pay part time coordinators and gradually develop a division of labor if the programs we have started together are to persist and if we expand to develop our dreams..
Contact FFUP here with your ideas and donations:
FFUP c/o Peg Swan/29631 Wild Rose Drive/Blue River, WI 53518/ 608-536-3993
For donations: Make checks out to Prison Forum/( address above) or give to

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