Monday, November 4, 2019

FFUP meets with Wisconsin DOC's Division of Adult Institutions




DOC Headquarters
Last week Ben from FFUP met with Makda Fessehaye, the administrator for Wisconsin’s Division of Adult Institutions and Molly Vidal, head of the DOC’s communication office. We will be having meetings like this quarterly. The next will be early January, which Peg Swan intends to also attend.

Here are the questions we asked, the answers we gained, and the next step actions we will be taking. This is a lot of work for a very small organization. If you'd like to get involved and meet with Ben sometime soon in Milwaukee, please email him at insurgent.ben@gmail.com. 


Makda Fessahaye, DAI Administrator

Molly Vidal, DOC Communications Director

 
















QUESTION: What has the new administration done to reduce the use of solitary confinement in Wisconsin prisons 
  • Answer:
    • They created a Restrictive Housing Unit (RHU) working group that’s reviewing policies to reduce solitary use, especially for people with mental health conditions.
      • There will be a time when public input is requested and Makda will include us in the process.
      • The biggest roadblock is gaining buy-in from staff. Makda and Molly said that staff see solitary confinement as a tool that keeps them safe, so it is hard to take that away without giving them a replacement tool or some assurance that they’ll be safe.
      • In the Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC) they were required by federal department of justice to stop using solitary on kids, and it took years to implement.
        • Note: They’re still struggling with implementation, for example staff is tipping off reporters about incidents where kids fight with staff.
      • They called the changes they’re working on a “big overhaul” and said its coming just a few years after a previous “big overhaul” -the 90 days limit thing from 2015.
  • Follow up Action:

FFUP meets with Wisconsin DOC's Division of Adult Institutions

DOC Headquarters Last week Ben from FFUP met with Makda Fessehaye, the administrator for Wisconsin’s Division of Adult Institutio...