Employment and Training Institute .

News on Wisconsin Prison and Jail Issues

WUWM | MPTV | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | BBC

Employment and Training Institute research on "Wisconsin's Mass Incarceration of African American Males" (2013) | "Statewide Imprisonment of Black Men in Wisconsin" (2014) | "Wisconsin Failure-to-Pay-Forfeitures Driver's License Suspensions" (2014) | "Cited in Milwaukee: The Cost of Unpaid Municipal Citations" (2015)

NPR special on Wisconsin driver's license policies targeting the poor

Joe Shapiro of NPR investigated Wisconsin driver's license policies targeting the poor. Pawasarat's research finds license suspensions one of the biggest barriers to getting a job for residents in the poorest neighborhoods -- and a solvable problem. (7 min. audio, Jan. 5, 2015)

Milwaukee Shepherd Express

In "Is It Time to End Mass Incarceration?" Lisa Kaiser of the Shepherd Express examined common concerns with mass incarceration shared by Wisconsin conservatives and liberals and discusses strategy recommendations identified by WISDOM, a statewide religious coalition committed to reform.

"Is Being Poor a Crime?" reports on a study by ETI and the Justice Initiatives Institute examining the 9,277 persons doing jail time in Milwaukee for failing to pay municipal citations.

Wisconsin State Journal coverage

Dane County Executive Joe Parisis proposes subsidizing driver's education for low-income teens, addressing racial profiling in police traffic stops, and other reforms. "The goal isn't leniency, but fairness, because some infractions have much more severe and long-lasting consequences if you don't have money...."

WUWM Project Milwaukee series

WUWM and MPTV Project Milwaukee developed a year-long special series on "Black Men in Prison" examining the causes and consequences of Wisconsin's high rate of black male incarceration. (50+ programs)

See WUWM programs. | See MPTV programs.

BBC investigation

Franz Strasser of the BBC investigated Wisconsin's high incarceration rate for African Americans with interviews of Lois Quinn, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, and Project Return staff. (5 min. video)

James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel logo

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Columnist James Causey has tackled issues related to Wisconsin's mass incarceration of black males: lifetime Internet postings of criminal records | trauma among inmates and inner city youth | life sentences | unemployment | need for more drug treatment options | housing segregation | addressing homicides | a proposed minority impact bill.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

MJS reporter Gina Barton (November 2014) identified 2,700 state prison inmates eligible for parole but remaining in custody. A January 2015, story examined the current DOC practice of re-incarcerating ex-offenders without convicting them of new crimes.

See Milwaukee Journal Sentinel articles.

photo of Pawasarat on WisconsinEye video

John Pawasarat guest editorials on "Mass incarceration of black males must stop" and "The brutal facts: Too few jobs for too many job seekers"

Steve Walters' WisconsinEye interview of Pawasarat on job training, prison diversion, and driver's license policies to address high rates of incarceration and job prospects for African American men from Milwaukee. (33 min. video)

Michelle Alexander addresses 1,800 at Milwaukee 
Area Technical College

Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, addressed 1,800 community activists, concerned citizens, and students at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Panel participant Darienne Driver, superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, said "We can make positive changes, but it's going to take everyone in this auditorium, everyone in this city."

community forum

An extraordinary community forum held in Milwaukee Library Centennial Hall, sponsored by WUWM and MPTV, explored solutions to Wisconsin's mass incarceration levels with over 400 religious leaders, parents of inmates, ex-offenders, police, students, community activists, and concerned residents. A 2-hour audio of the forum is also posted.

community forum

Community forum sponsored by MPTV and WUWM at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum: panelists Rev. Willie Brisco, Rev. Mark Evans, Torre Jackson, and E. Michael McCann said jobs are the number one issue and called Wisconsin's disproportionate incarceration of black males an "undeclared state of emergency." (1 hr. 30 min.)

4th and State

Lois Quinn talked with James Causey about Wisconsin's epidemic rates of black male incarceration outside Milwaukee. (9 min. video)
Joanne Williams on MPTV's Black Nouveau

MPTV Black Nouveau special on solutions to black male incarceration (Program #2232). ¡Adelante! talked to Project Return staff and an ex-offender addressing challenges facing men on re-entry.
Forum photo MPTV Fourth Street Forum on "Black Men in Prison: Exploring the Crisis, Changing the Outcome." Denise Callaway of Milwaukee Public Schools moderated a panel discussion and community forum with LaToya Dennis of WUWM, Lois Quinn of UWM-ETI, and Clem Richardson of Project Return. (57 min. video)

Urban Milwaukee logo

Bruce Murphy of Urban Milwaukee on income inequality among working families in Milwaukee County | few minority workers employed by large Milwaukee area construction firms | "how Wisconsin punishes the poor" driving policies. Murphy called Wisconsin "no country for black men" when it comes to sentencing and drug enforcement.

Our Issues broadcast

Andrea Williams, executive producer of Our Issues Milwaukee on MVTV CW18 and My24, addressed mass incarceration in Milwaukee and Wisconsin (part 1 - 17 min.) and needs of ex-offenders after release (part 2 - 11 min.).

Today's TMJ4

Today's TMJ4 reported on the "53206 Initiative" to lower the number of black men in prison. "If we can bring opportunity, bring back jobs, bring back employment, bring back a sense of moral obligation, we can actually heal this," said Reverend Willie Brisco. (1:34 min. video)

Cheryl Corley

Gene Demby

Cheryl Corley of National Public Radio interviewed John Pawasarat, District Attorney John Chisholm, a spokesperson for churches allied to reduce Wisconsin incarceration levels, and Milwaukee ex-offenders in her exploration of why Wisconsin's black male prison rates are so far above other states. (5 min. audio)

Gene Demby of NPR highlighted key issues.

NPR "Tell Me More" interview with Lena Taylor discussed "ground zero" zipcode 53206. Marc Mauer talked about disproportionate drug law arrest and sentencing policies (11 min. audio)

WPR Kathleen Dunn Show

The Kathleen Dunn Show on Wisconsin Public Radio with Pawasarat and Rev. Willie Briscoe talking about labor force needs of ex-offenders and community alternatives to incarceration. (1 hr. audio)

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Special reports by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service: Black men bear the brunt of unequal enforcement of marijuana laws | Will universal drivers ed increase racial integration? | Mounting fines for minor infractions hit low-income drivers hardest | Non-driving offences lead to license suspension for teens | Activist says 'we got this' when it comes to keeping black youth busy and safe
53206 A St. Louis college student's take on "how one Milwaukee zipcode explains America's mass incarceration problem"

WUWM reporter LaToya Dennis explores youth violence in her 2008 report on "53206, The evolution of a zip code" | Erin Toner on "Black male incarceration devastates Milwaukee neighborhoods."

WUWM program Former Milwaukee inmates: "I am more than my record." [a special WUWM web project]
Milwaukee Shepherd Express

The Milwaukee Shepherd Express on Wisconsin's shocking incarceration rate | Michelle Alexander on the crisis facing Milwaukee's black men: "Our criminal justice system isn't colorblind -- or just" | Out of prison, into the light: Caliph Muabel seeks to end the mass incarceration of black men.

Media Milwaukee UWM student online reporting

Media Milwaukee, UWM's student online reporting, on Black incarceration rate causes debated | Media criminalized African-American youth, Fromkin lecturer says | Inmates fund scholarship for students | Eat. Think. Liberate. | Child left behind.

WTMJ news announcement Carole Meekins of WTMJ talks with Atty. Henry Hamilton and Lois Quinn about voting and employment rights of ex-offenders (3:21 min.)

more news

Milwaukee Times on "African American male incarceration in Milwaukee and Wisconsin: The numbers (and the people) don't lie."

Madison Magazine on "A kid at the crossroads: Daishon Boyd is a smart and thriving high school freshman. But can he beat the odds stacked against him in a place where racial disparities are some the worst in the nation?"

Isthmus on "Out of prison, into the light: Caliph Muabel seeks to end the mass incarceration of black men" | "Wisconsin's incarceration addiction: Ferguson protests shine a light on the state's shameful record" | "The top 10 stories of 2014 in Madison."

The Cap Times on "Justified anger: Rev. Alex Gee says Madison is failing its African-American community" | "Faith-based group calls for prison reform in Wisconsin."

The Beloit Daily News on "Wisconsin tops US in jailing of black men."

The Sentencing Project on "Wisconsin leads nation in black male incarceration rates"

The People's Mic (92.1 FM Madison, WI) interviews Marc Mauer about prison sentencing and his book "Race to Incarcerate."

Lily Bolourian of Policymic.com discusses Obama administration's plans to pivot the "War on Drugs" away from criminalization towards treatment.

BET on racial disparities in the prison system.

The Cap Times interview of Pamela Oliver of UW-Madison.

The BizTimes coverage of the ETI report.

UW-Madison Badger Herald looks at Wisconsin's drug sentencing laws.

Eugene Kane on "A dubious national title: Number one in locking up black men"

Dave Begel on "Wisconsin's a tough place to live if you are black"

Brennan Center newsletter examined unequal incarceration of poor defendants.

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