University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Employment and Training Institute


New York Times
NYT: Milwaukee's divide

Christian Science Moniror article
Upheaval is product of
systemic inequalities

The Atlantic article
The Atlantic: No driver's
license, no job

NPR examines how court-ordered license suspensions unfairly 
target the poor
NPR: Guilty and
(7 min.)

BBC magazine story
BBC on Wisconsin's
high black male
incarceration (5 min.)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report on driver's license suspensions
MJS: Hidden cost of
driver's license suspensions

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial
Find better way

WUWM Precious Lives
CPB: Milwaukee collaboration
on gun violence

CNN footage of Democratic Party presidential debate in Milwaukee
ETI study raised
at presidential debate

Presidential candidate debate addressing why is Milwaukee so bad for black people
PBS NewsHour

Michelle Alexander speaks to 1,800 at MATC
Michelle Alexander
urges action

Black men in prison logo
WUWM award-winning series

Milwaukee Shepherd Express
Strategies for change

Beloit College blacklivesmatterbeloit
Institutional racism
and the black body (2 hr.)

UW School of Medicine and Public Health Video Library
Learning from Milwaukee
and Ferguson (50 min.)

Washington Post article on Milwaukee driver's license suspensions
Criminalization of
poverty in Milwaukee

New Yorker article on Wisconsin mass incarceration
How to stop mass

Urban Milwaukee's
counter view

Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project Online Exhibit
WPA online exhibit

Mass Incarceration Research

Wisconsin's rate of imprisoning African American men in state prisons and local jails is the highest in the U.S., according to 2010 Census data. Analysis of state public inmate files shows statewide mass incarceration, with half of African American men in their 30s having served time in prison. In Milwaukee County 40% of young men in their late 20s have already been incarcerated by the state. The cumulative numbers of black male former inmates living in Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods remain a most serious, and largely unaddressed, concern for their lack of employment options and economic well-being. In Wisconsin ex-offenders' prison records (with very few exceptions) remain posted on the state court system’s website for the rest of their lives. Released prisoners are subject to Department of Corrections’ supervision which can result in their re-imprisonment at any time for minor and technical supervision infractions, and most live in neighborhoods with highly concentrated policing and concentrated poverty.

  • Beloit College panel discussion: #blacklivesmatterbeloit (2 hr.)
  • UW School of Medicine and Public Health presentation on "What can we learn from Milwaukee and Ferguson?" (50 min.)
  • Prison media coverage and videos | prison research and recommendations | incarceration readings

    Criminal Justice Employment Research

    A majority of those jailed for failure to pay municipal judgments are not employed at the time of booking. In a “catch-22” scenario, municipal courts often have denied Wisconsin residents unable to pay or delinquent in paying court judgments for municipal citations their right to drive for one to two years -- jeopardizing workers’ employment options and placing them at risk in the criminal justice system if found “driving while suspended." Thousands of low-income Milwaukee teens of color failing to pay fines on municipal violations (even if unrelated to driving) are barred from getting their driver’s license for two years.

    Driver's License Barriers to Employment

    ETI studies have shown the driver license to be essential for getting and keeping employment and exceeding high school completion as a predictor of sustained employment. Yet, the highest numbers of unlicensed drivers are African American men in their prime early working years with suspensions for debt collection issues rather than for unsafe driving. ETI is working with United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and Wisconsin Community Services to support Milwaukee Public Schools' Universal Driver Education Program, restoring high school driver's education for Milwaukee teens.

    Voter Photo ID Studies

    Analysis of Wisconsin driver's license records showed wide disparities in rates of licensing for African Americans and Latinos compared to Whites, particularly among young adults. The ETI research was cited by the federal court in its decision to stop DMV-issued photo ID requirements for voting in Wisconsin and also considered by the federal appeals court overturning the decision.

    Workforce Investment Reports

    ETI collaborates with the NAACP, Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, City of Milwaukee, and non-profits to identify job training opportunities and needs for men of color in the Milwaukee metro area. Federal EEO reports and state apprenticeship and occupational licensing records are used to monitor progress. ETI job openings surveys, conducted since 1993, assess the number and type of jobs available and the level of skill training employers need to fill openings in the Milwaukee region.

    Neighborhood Indicators

    The Milwaukee neighborhood indicators reports were developed by ETI with funding from the Helen Bader Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the City of Milwaukee to provide independent, timely and ongoing assessment tools to measure short-term and long-term progress toward improving economic and employment well-being of families in central city Milwaukee neighborhoods. ZIP code 53206 serves as a bellwether for poverty changes, mass incarceration, foreclosures, driver's license issues, and Boys and Men of Color organizing in Milwaukee and nationally

    Publications | Child care | African American and Latino access to jobs | Drilldown tools | Driver's license | Job openings surveys | Housing crisis | Housing integration | Neighborhood indicators | Prison issues | Reprints | School-to-work | Voter ID | Welfare research | Workforce training | WPA history

    Employment and Training Institute
    School of Continuing Education
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee