Monday, March 23, 2020

For Immediate Release:

Press Inquiries or Interviews please contact
Ben Turk, Forum for Understanding Prisons

Wisconsin DOC Fails to Protect its Vulnerable Prisoners, Advocates Hold Demonstration to Demand Immediate Action from the Governor and DOC Administration

Madison/Milwaukee, WI [25 March, 2020] After occupying the neighborhood of Department of Corrections’ Secretary Kevin Carr’s house for the last two days, and now with the order for Wisconsin people to stay at home, prisoner’s rights advocates from Milwaukee will be escalating the occupation by moving their actions to the State Capitol Building in Madison. Carr and Evers’ continued inaction to protect the prison population from exposure to COVID-19 is putting more than 23,000 people in Wisconsin at risk. COVID 19 has already infected two different prisons in Wisconsin—Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) and Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI). Both prisons were exposed through infected staff members who were allowed to enter the facilities, thus spreading this deadly epidemic to our most vulnerable brothers and sisters locked inside. The DOC continues to report that there are no confirmed cases of their captives testing positive for COVID-19, but public officials with the CDC and WHO advise that the infection is widespread in the community and people should assume that observed symptoms are indicative of an infection. Additionally, DOC testing protocol, excludes people who test positive from influenza from receiving COVID-19 tests, effectively diluting their test results. It is only a matter of time before it spreads.

These individuals are presenting their demands to the state capital, to the Governor himself, to hold the DOC and the state’s administration accountable for the thousands of people whose lives they hold in their control. These citizens will be protesting outside the East entrance of the State Capitol Building in Madison today, Wednesday March 25th, 2020, by 11:00 am, and will remain outside through sundown. Press are encouraged to attend. For questions or more information about today’s action, please contact Ben Turk (Forum for Understanding Prisons) at 614.704.4699 or by email at More information can be found at



Article on the Waupun exposure and insufficient response-

Report written before exposure detailing the lack of preparedness by the DOC-

Collection of statements and descriptions on COVID-19 by incarcerated people in Wisconsin prisons-

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