ROC Wisconsin


UnLock the Vote Campaign’s Milwaukee Kick-off

Wednesday | September 4 |5:30-8 pm | Hephatha Lutheran Church, 1720 W Locust St, Milwaukee


"Unlock the Vote" is a 2-piece package of bills, introduced by Senator Lena Taylor, and State Representatives David Crowley and Jodi Emerson.

1) Contact your State Senator and State Representative(s) to encourage their support and co-sponsorship for both bills.

2) Join us for Unlock the Vote - Mini Action Day in Madison on September 18th, 2109 as we visit our legislator's and ask their support for this important legislation allowing 68,000 of our neighbors to vote and have an active vote in our democracy.

Here are the details on the bills:

• LR1522 - "Unlock the Vote" - calls for people who have received a felony sentence with supervision (probation/parole/extended supervision) to regain the right to vote after their release from prison/jail. This bill would align Wisconsin with other states that have discontinued the practice of requiring people to be "off papers" in order to vote. Currently in Wisconsin, people who have received a felony sentence must complete their terms of supervision and be "off paper" in order to vote.

• LR3567 - "Prison Gerrymandering" - calls for Wisconsin to count incarcerated people in their home district for the purposes of determining the number of voters in each election district. Currently Wisconsin exacerbates its voting district gerrymandering by counting incarcerated people in the location of the prison in which they are detained, even though they must return to their home municipality once released and may not live or vote in the place where the prison is located following release.

Supporters of Incarcerated People (SIP), is a new organization for those who have loved ones in prison, sponsored by WISDOM/EXPO. Many of these folks have been involved in - and driven - various campaigns in Restoring Our Communities (ROC).

Please spread the word and invite others to join in the organizing meeting:

Saturday, September 28 | 10:00 am to 2:30 pm

Beloved Community of Intercession Episcopal Church, 900 Brilowski Rd., Stevens Point

Build a network of support for ourselves and others with incarcerated loved ones;

Build a powerful community that joins our voices to demand changes for ourselves and our incarcerated loved ones.

To reserve your place at the SIP convening call 414-831-2070 or e-mail us at Provide your name, city (to help arrange carpooling), phone and e-mail.

SIP: We believe in second chances; We believe people can change; We believe everyone needs hope and support, and no one should be forgotten. Anyone who cares about someone in prison is invited.

Wisconsin Council on Children and Families – Incarceration and Children

According to the new KIDS COUNT® policy report, A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities, 88,000 children living in Wisconsin have experienced the separation of a parent who served time in jail or prison. Nationally, more than 5 million children have a parent that has been incarcerated. The effects of incarceration, the report says, can have as much impact on children’s well-being as abuse or domestic violence. Read the Report

President Obama Announced Changes to the Federal Prison System

On January 25 Obama announced changes to the federal prison system that include banning solitary confinement for juvenile offenders and for prisoners who have committed low-level infractions, calling the practice overused and potentially devastating. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Obama invoked the case of Kalief Browder, a young man who spent nearly two years in solitary confinement after he was thrown in jail in 2010 for allegedly stealing a backpack when he was 16. Read article here

U.S. Bishops Support Sentencing Reform

Read the Bishop’s letter to members of the Congressional Judiciary Committee here.

11X15 – A Breakthrough for Prison Reform?

On July 1 Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner sent out the statement below in his newsletter to constituents. ACTION: If you are a constituent of Rep. Sensenbrenner, please take a moment to send him a note of support and thanks for his work on federal criminal justice reform. Ask him to use his influence with state of Wisconsin senators and representatives to do the same for the state of WI. Contrary to his comment about Wisconsin, we have not been a leader in criminal justice system reform. Email Rep Sensenbrenner here.

From Rep. Sensenbrenner’s July 1 Newsletter

A Monumental Step Forward for Criminal Justice Reform

As we celebrate Independence Day, we are reminded of the values our nation’s founders fought tirelessly to safeguard: individual liberty, equal justice under the law and limited government.

After leading the House Judiciary Committee’s Over-Criminalization Task Force for a year and a half, I have seen firsthand how these most basic principles of freedom and fairness have fallen by the wayside in our criminal justice system. Our jails are overcrowded, our criminal code is convoluted and our taxpayer dollars are being wasted.

The United States is home to just five percent of the world’s population, but holds 25 percent of the world’s prison population. From 1980 to 2013, the number of incarcerated offenders in federal prisons skyrocketed from 24,000 to more than 215,000. Currently, the federal prison system consumes more than 25 percent of the entire Department of Justice budget.

Despite this dramatic rise in incarceration rates, crime rates have remained stagnant. And even with the startling increase in prison spending, more than 40 percent of released offenders return to prison within three years of their release—proving yet again that big government does not mean better government. Something must be done, not just from a fiscal perspective, but a moral perspective.

Read the full statement here.

New WISDOM Video that documents the benefits of Treatment Alternatives and Diversions over incarceration.