Tuesday, August 7, 2018

IDEAS for Coalition between Prison activist Groups

 Meeting to form Coalition between disparate prison activist groups
August 27, 1 pm Culvers restaurant in Cross Plains

Ideas for Agenda/please add and change anything- this is just my overactive brain.
Goals of coalition: Find ways we can connect and work together to more effectively case change.
Possible Over all goals are to
 1)end over- incarceration and 2) end overuse and abuse of solitary confinement , 3)bring back rehabilitation into corrections and 4)greatly increase alternatives to incarceration.

Reason for coalition: Each of our groups has different ways in which above goals are addressed. All are needed but unless they work in concert . there will be little real change. I.E. each group has a piece of a very complex puzzle- can we fit them together for a real campaign? The democratic candidates for governor these last months all came together to voice their support for prisoner reform- this would have been unheard of earlier . It is time to bring it all together. My hope is that we can form connection links where we can work in concert where it is most effective and continue our individual efforts also ( parallel play)

FFUP’s immediate need: 1)Beneficiary of  Prisonforum checking account. Because FFUP is a respected non profit. WE have a fairly successful Gofundme account and Paypal kicks in and pays all gofundme fees and both paypal and gofundme teams have given donations . The  checking account is where all donations go. Although I have NO time to do fundraisers, we still get donations and were something to happen to me, all this will end. This beneficiary needs to be one person. That person will get instructions on what to do should I die or be incapacitated, AS it is now, I spend NO TIME at fundraising- need help with that also- could bring in lots. See latest update:
                                            2) Coalition Group? FFUP needs structure as I start to bow out with age and I think we all need it as all our groups come to  maturity- form a board? We once had a group called "Incarceration coalition” or we could resurrect “Second chance” as subgroup of FFUP where we could all connect online and begin to help each other and actual get a movement going . Either would be members from all groups (Would invite all including MUM and PAM and all Wisdom groups – there are a myriad). coalition”
                                             3) Immediate need of FFUP are a few people to discuss advocacy for specific people as the DOC has never been so corrupt  and murder by deliberate indifference IS happening. -

Proposals for coalition:

1) One person in each group be responsible for reporting on projects they are doing through email or other way to designated person in other groups, citing ways other groups can help- shout outs, sit ins. Calls etc.
2) FIND PROJECTS we all care deeply about and discuss getting division of labor going so each group does what they do best at the same time- example protests led by IWOC while WISDOM visits legislators and FFUP Gets prisoners to activate their families etc. , does blogs etc. I believe once the public knows there is an action in legislature or courts to push for- they will better engage in protests and other “actions” and your average citizen will want to join the movement.
3) The consequences of our corrections policies for the wider public need to be better articulated.  Once the public sees the relationship between lack of community resources and absurd cost of education, housing are direct  consequences of our prison nation policies – they will engage-

Some ideas where we can gather
B)Spread word about prison conditions ( and whatever)  by setting up a workable way for to all of . us contribute and share information we get from families of prisoners and prisoners themselves- thinking there could be several stages – We would all contribute and help with IWOC CCI and MSDF campaigns. What do you know about the new HSU complex/building in CCI? Some prisoners are saying it is just  infinitely more cells of solitary torture.
connecting online:
1)one simply posting on a conducive site, hopefully by category IWOC has one of these at least
2) volunteers collate and typed and summed ( each picking subject?)
 3) the summed type collated be put on public blog in easy to read form and REGULAR REPORTS be sent to legislators ,media  and all who are interested (FFUP can blog the sums)
Projects like IWOC CCI shout outs and Close MSDF could get wider base. FFUP could pinpoint the individual cases that highlight these conditions and we could get changes through public pressure as well as through the law and legislature- I envision using all at once. Reports are powerful- could do regular coalition reports and send to legislators and media etc

Above method could be used for all aspects of this cause- revocations, problems of the newly released , scams DOC , etc= endless list- this would be a way to collect data and have it collectively used. Would be made availble to all interested  and could include documented evidence. .Each prisoner contributor would need to tell us if he /she needs to remain anonymous on the web or not ( most want names out there )

C) REDUCE PRISON POPULATION< ENHANCE ALTERNATIVES/Comprehensive parole campaign/end revocations/all related
               1) Start with compassionate release campaign which shows the real inhumanity and stupidness of holding elderly and dying prisoners so long- am doing one effort  now- need for elderly dying woman= could use brainstorming help.  Media is very important and education that there IS an executive order ignored and denied by DOC that specifically lets these guys out.
Here is   link to the Executive order that the DOC denies exists: https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/exec-order-31.pdf
2)FAMILIES OF PRISONERS PLUS A FEW FROM OUR GROUPS/bring back real parole/end revocations for non felonies
        a): possible structure for coalition: resurrect “Second chance”- This was a subgroup of FFUP of prisoner families – very committed families but almost no expertise on the web or ability to work in concert and too much work for me to do all the coordinating - We were working on parole campaign and still have the petitions  and blog  and domain name- 
Could we ignite a new comprehensive campaign only this time have web savvy and broad view IWOC and WISDOM members helping. With the web and petition logistics etc?
          b)Needed – co- coordinator to help me figure out a way to build on a very good beginning – someone good on web and good at communicating. A few hours a week to connect to wider public,  FFUP will do connecting through mail to prisoners and they get their families activated. Would start with those families who worked at this before.

3) Resubmit Parole rule change petition using statute 227- this time work on getting all groups to support and push for. The arguments for the changes have changed but the rules are really fine- much worked on by prisoner litigators. Here are rules put together by prisoner litigators and FFUP: https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/1-1aarule-proposal-plus-need.pdf
4) PRESENT parole rules/ guide line changes to  key members of legislature and contact Governor candidates that were interested in reducing prison population.= build on that.
Always counter the myth that reducing population is about letter rapists and murders outs. Educate strongly on failed system and its consequences to society as a whole
5 .Use FFUP blog showing sums of parole eligible- Needed =help updating that blog.

Here are some projects we can possibly all work on:
1)      Work together to secure grants and get need program started using them
2)        NEEDED volunteers to use internet to find Grantors and applications. Volunteers to present finished application and speak for the proposals. A few prisoners have volunteered to write the grants once we supply the date etc.
        3)Grant proposals possible and rough drafts set up-funding needed for coordinators

           a Bussing to prisons –we have the van owners/drivers willing to participate and will charge less if vans are full. Coordinator funding needed and grant for funds to help pay for families who cannot pay fare.
           b RELEASE READY : Coordinator funding needed  .POPS program redone to fit WI- this is a CA program where volunteers work with prisons set up stable situations for when they are released- urgent for most TIS prisons and would be most helpful in securing release for Old law prisoners so all prisoners would be eligible for the program. Project  Return might want to direct this one.
          c. Refuge for newly release prisoners- a way to regroup – incredible vision by two prisoners. This deserves serious consideration.


D) BIGGEST NEED FOR LAST .PRISONER LITIGATORS NEED HELP . Access to courts is diminishing drastically for prisoners and yet the courts have been the only path for reform. .
Volunteers needed to help – internet lookup for case law (Law Libraries usually closed,) 
                                                    help getting funding to send online law guides and buy stamps,       send documents etc Postage costs are enormous. We would like to get enough funding to underwrite more multiple plaintiff suits like our present suit against solitary.
                                                    Screening inmate cases- anyone who understand and knows the law is needed- also legal guides for beginner litigants are needed badly. They do not do the case but they read it and guide. There are several prisoners that do this for other prisoner and mail is difficult and retaliation is rife= would be nice to have a few three ways- overcome mail disappearing.
Volunteers need at every level  here.

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