FFUP launches fundraiser for three new programs:
2)A SAFE PLACE TO LAND:
3) PRISONER'S LEGAL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND (PLRSJF)
Intro: FFUP started soon after the Boscobel Supermax opened around 2000 with its 500 solitary cells. We started with a penpal project. Since then the prison population has grown from 7 000 prisoners to 22000 and solitary is used to deal with all ensuing problems from overcrowding and understaffing, to lack programs and no treatment for the mentally ill . With the pandemic, all got even more toxic, and suicide attempts soared, even within the now locked down general population.
Prisoners have little control over what happens to them in this system. It is a caldron of frustration and Rage. However, we all have control over how we react to the world around us and FFUP has two programs that try to give prisoners ways to positively direct their lives; our DEStress project, and legal Project. Our third program “ A Place to Land,” addresses the final failure of the system- prisoner being released after years of trauma and little training or treatment. FFUP is dealing with an increasing number of prisoners dumped to homelessness or to a short-term placement that offers no support.
1)DESTRESS PROJECT: A volunteer puts together a monthly newsletter filled with games and stories, exercises, news articles etc., aimed at those who have trouble dealing with the stress of solitary confinement and/or the pandemic. We also offer craft and art supplies and books as part of our effort to encourage prisoners to “ground” their frustrations and anger thereby transforming that energy to positive actions. Because those in the deepest solitary units are allowed almost no tools for “distressing”, we have also crafted a pilot program proposal where prisoners and staff sign a contract allowing gradual increase in privileges and supplies in exchange for respectful, healthy behavior. We are in the negotiating process with DOC powers to get this enacted.
2)A SAFE PLACE TO LAND: funding for rental pace for donated trailer
An EXPO member has donated the use of a trailer for a safe refuge for newly release prisoners who are indigent and would otherwise be homeless. We need funding for space rental and a few months of maintenance. We believe this project will soon be self- sustaining , as we could ask for affordable rent once these guys get a job. We will also ask an ex-prisoner to be a live-in supervisor, seeing that order is maintained, and it continues to be a healthy environment. He will be paid in free rent. We will be paying for food an supplies while this project gets going. We hope this can grow and we can realize the many dreams we have explored over the years- finally for a self-sustaining community for training and nurturing people traumatized by our justice department.
Because all funds go to maintaining the population, there is little treatment of the mentally ill and few programs. FFUP is dealing with many released prisoners who are released straight from years in solitary and have no support. They are often forced to stay in the berg where they committed their crime- whether there is safe placement for them or not. The best scenario for a prisoner who is indigent is the placement in what is call a TLP( temporary living placement), where they get a roof over their head for 90days and a curfew. Period. For some people that is plenty, for they hightail it over to the county health and human services department and get food stamps and then a manual labor job which are plentiful. This is not usually possible for many prisoners who are released from solitary. They need a safe place to land for a few months.
FFUP is dealing with two men this winter were released to homelessness and another who would have been homeless but for help with rental finds and person who was given a TLP but had no food or transportation and again, needed some time to orient being in society again. Because this was during stimulus fund time, FFUP was able to aid these four prisoners but now we need your help
3) PRISONER'S LEGAL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND (PLRSJF)
This is an outgrowth of our legal Project, where we help prisoners learn the law. We connect them with a prisoner litigator guide, supply guidebooks, stamps, copies, case as we can. We find that prisoners that do learn their rights and use the law to address wrongs they see, have fewer mental and emotional problems, and are able to treat all with respect . They get retaliated against but can deal effectively with that. Prisoners help prisoners in this system, and we try to encourage that with this program.
With PLRSJF, we will go from individual cases, where winnings seldom garner any changes in the system to multiple cases efforts and cases that DO effect change if won. This will take funds for filing fees and copies, postage etc and we are working on getting a lawyer consultant-
Already with the inception of this fund, litigators and FFUP are beginning to think larger and are gathering cases of similar nature and organizing our legal project. We can umbrella most of the issues we will be addressing under one heading-“ACCOUNTABILITY”. As it is now, there is none- the DOC monitors, investigates itself on all levels from the inmate complaint system to the PREA fiasco. By showing patterns with multiple cases and featuring well done examples of systemic problems, we can, we hope, point the DOC back to its original mission- “To rehabilitate offenders and keep the public safe.”
FFUP General newsletter 4 21 “BRIDGE OF VOICES” : https://ffupcases.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/march-newsletter-final-pdf.pdf
DESTress Newsletter April 21: https://ffupcases.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/first-de-stress-newsl.docx
11 20 Introduction to prisoners for requesting crafts/ arts with First DESTress newsletter: https://ffupcases.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/april-destress-2021.pdf
FFUP main blog, (one of about 30): http://www.prisonforum.org/
Introduction to PLRSJF for prisoners: https://ffupcases.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/fund-details-for-gofundme.pdf
Proposal for pilot project to get more DEStress tools int0 solitary prisoners: https://ffupcases.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/proposal-for-wci-rhu-pilot.pdf
Coming: photos of crafts, cards and art by prisoners using our DESTRess project.
note:Pictures above are from: https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2017/04/17/cruel-and-unusual-the-hell-of-solitary-confinement/
To donate to FFUP:
By check of money order: make check out to FFUP,
send to FFUP c/o 29631 Wild Rose Drive; Blue River, WI 53518
please feel free to specify which of the programs above you want to support if you have a preference