Sunday, July 7, 2024

FFUP UPDATE july 2024

SUMMER BRIDGE OF VOICES PART I, our newsletter, is now on its way to prisoners. It will take two to three weeks to get there but will be  followed by part II quickly. This, we hope, will help us finally get enough hands -on support so we can get the prisoners stories out to the public. 

We  need to focus on this now because IF we are going to change anything in this system, we have to debunk the lies about who we are locking up and how we are treating them. The lies have been so sweeping and long lasting that the politicians and courts are afraid to release anyone who's release isn't mandated by law. We cannot even those dying out on compassionate release no matter how many doctors' reports are signed.. Governor Evers touts his many pardons but he has pardoned NOONE from prison. Only those who have been out of prison for at least 4 years are eligible for pardon under our Governor's rules. EVEN tho he campaigned on halving the prison population, he has blocked all legitimate attempts at doing so and his edicts have torn our heart out many times since he took office. 

With prisoners , their families, and the help of the Media, we have been forming a coalition and at least the tip  of the  ice berg of WIDOC corruption is showing. Below are links to our newsletter, BRIDGE OF VOICES and letters written so far to EVERs and the new DOC Secretary.

 Pasted in full below is  FFUP's letters to the Senate committee that is meeting this week ( week of  July 7,2024)in an emergency meeting on corrections. Write your own letter and help s build a movement !

Latest Newsletter: Bridge of Voices Summer 2024 Part one:

 FFUP to the new WIDOC Secretary Jared Hoy 7 24:


Tim Zilstra to Governor Evers


Senate Corrections Committee:

RE: ideas To discuss at upcoming meeting on Corrections



I have been working with prisoners and their families for over two decades as part of a non-profit. I am writing you as I understand you will be having an emergency meeting on Corrections this coning week and I feel it is important that I share with you some of what I have learned.

Over the decades I have seen the mission of the WIDOC change from one of rehabilitating prisoners and keeping the public safe, which it did to a large extent, to one that does that in name only. It looks like its mission today is more like money making (off the taxpayer), damage control, and duping the public and you senators. All this started with the Clinton Crime bill in the 1990’s and that has brought us here- where no one wants to work in the DOC unless they make a fortune and those that are caring, find that even with the money, they cannot work there. The saying going around is that the WIDOC warehouses only. For many, especially the mentally ill, it is far worse than that- It is torture and prisoners often leave severely traumatized.

Below is a letter I wrote recently to Secretary Hoy which delineates the steps I and my compatriots believe need to be taken for real healing. The problems with our corrections system will not go away with the tearing down of buildings or reshuffling prisoners- You may be able to placate the public for a while, but I challenge you here to do your job and lead us to a new era of honesty and of working to genuinely fix our problems. Please read the letter. In it  I also call for leadership from our new Secretary . Through two decades of prisoner bashing/exaggerations, the public has come to believe prisoners, (all of course rapists and murderers,) are unredeemable. We need to reeducate ourselves and the public on who we have locked up and on our responsibilities toward them.

The prisoners I know want help, they want training and treatment but are stuck in an unending loop of deadtime and negativity. Many are scared that they will go home back to the same neighborhoods they came, with neither training or treatment and with no support.  Is this what we taxpayers are paying billions of dollars for? Please help us lift the curtain and show the public the deeper systemic mess the system is in and help us forge a way forward.

Main Points on our wish list:

1) Reduce population: reinstate real parole for old law prisoners and end Truth in sentencing, changing it to an effective parole system.

2) End revocations without felonies and give grants to non-profits for the setting up of new support networks and connecting with existing housing for newly released prisoners.

3) Mental health treatment is the essential core of WIDOC responsibility since that is where our country is putting the mentally ill. A wide ranging and courageous discussion needs to be had on this issue. Look to Colorado for guidance and our own Rick Raemisch (see attached letter) .

4) Actually rehabilitate: Hire teachers and trainers and ex- prisoners - our prisoners WANY TO LEARN TO BE BETTER and DO BETTER!


Thank you for your attention, I  hope we can all work together on this most needed project.



Peg Swan

Founder, Co-director FFUP

Forum for Understanding Prisons, 501c3 non-profit, 608-536-3993

29631 Wild Rose Drive; Blue River, WI 53518


FFUP UPDATE july 2024

SUMMER BRIDGE OF VOICES PART I, our newsletter, is now on its way to prisoners. It will take two to three weeks to get there but will be  fo...