An open address to the Wisconsin government

by a Wisconsin prisoner
Right on the heels of Wisconsin's recent "Presidential" election, where droves of "Black, White, Hispanics, and Asian American citizens came out following Barack Obama's audacity of hope and call for change campaign. Many of the state's top political figures came out endorsing Obama, a "black man" seeking the bid and nomination for the democratic party candidacy.
Wisconsin had its general election April Fools Day Tuesday April 1st and many of them same old practices seem to surface and rear its ugly head when the State's only Black Supreme Court Justice was the victim of racist smear tactics. And all across the state blacks and other minorities lost their potential bid for whatever seat they were running for against their conser­vative opponents.
Change is good, and Wisconsin has a historic opportunity to atone for a great deal of its past racist practices and policies and truly commit to "change" by fixing the racist poli­cies that have held the state in the cultural, political and economic quagmires of past leaders.
Of the many issues plaguing the state, Criminal Justice Reform is one of the most pressing. Wisconsin over the last fifteen years has out ranked a number of states with the highest
rate of incarceration, which proves that incarceration and "Truth -In-Sentencing" laws do not deter crime.
Theoretically, punishment of Prisoners should try to achieve at least one of the following objectives:
Rehabilitation: re-socialization of the offender toward more socially acceptable behavior.

Incapacitation: removal of the offender from the community to reduce the threat of crime.
Retribution: repayment of damages.

Deterrence: discouraging the public from criminal behavior through effective punishment of offenders.

Wisconsin's criminal justice system and penal laws are born of attitudes and beliefs that have roots deep in the soil of slavery or Jim Crow policies and conservative political com­promises. The laws still read a lot like the 18th century Black codes, only the current codes have substituted names and titles.

The attitudes, mentality and prejudices of the framers of these laws are still working to the disadvantage of Black people, lower income Whites and Hispanics as well other minor­ities.
Although many of the men who pushed for these laws and legislation are no longer in office, like the Tommy Thompson, yet, one of the main advocates for stiffer sentencing and penal­ties are our once District Attorney, Attorney General and now Govenor, "yes," James Doyle who has allowed the root of institutionalized racism.
During one era not that very long ago a black man could be lynched for a violation as small as whistling at a white woman. Blacks has been throughout history incarcerated in South as sugar cane slaves, cotton slaves, and in the North slaves for the Prison Industrial Service.
I've learned it only takes a little bit of fear, mixed with hate and an politician aspiring for hire office or other ambitions to have a bill before the legislation and viola: systematic re-enslavement of any offender caught in the trap.
Most of Wisconsin's Legislators are White and had no objections to the heavy handed sentencing practices that Former Governor Tommy Thompson wanted and the few blacks were effectively silenced and went along with these attitudes. Just recently maybe out of desperation or maybe in the footstep of her husband and Former President, Senator Clinton is talking tough on crime, even though it was not long ago released that 1 out of every 99.1 adults in the United States are in jail or prisons.
Whether we make the distinctions in raw number or per capita, the U.S. holds 2,319, 258 citizens locked up, more than any other civilized nation. The numbers don't look good or sound good because the policies and system are no good. They are bad because they are rooted in immoral principles designed to hurt instead of healing.
The lone black "Supreme Court Justice" lost his bid, not to the better candidate, but to racist, negative practices which vilified a man as being more concerned with defendants than victims. But doesn't justice mean searching for the truth? it was once said it is better to set free a hundred guilty than to convict one innocent.
However, that is no longer the call of justice, even though the 1997 Clinton administration's "Truth-In-Sentencing Act, monies has dried up and Wisconsin struggles with an 2 billion dollar budget, the attitude of our Governor and Legislative body is keep eligible men locked up and the tax payers will continue to foot the necessary $30,000 plus needed to keep them incarcerated.
Why are the legislation making and passing bills designed to hinder ex-offenders progress in the workforce rather than passing and implementing bills and laws designed to help them become more productive members of society? the audacity I found in the recent Presidential election was that so many hypocritical "white" males came out to endorse Barack Obama a [Black Man] while poor black men in inner cities all around this state needs endorsement, endorsement to better their lives, to be free of the disease of drugs, alcoholism, the plagues of violence they are surrounded by, and the ever present threat and fear of imprisonment with no chance for betterment.

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