From Jason Glascock, a captive in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
The post is complimentary to allow his voice to escape the confines of prison walls. Content is as submitted. Straight from the Pen does not express any opinion on the subject matter, content or the validity of any statement or claim made.
Wisconsin’s Sin: Prison, Parole and Empty Promises
In Wisconsin, prison is a social program; it’s intended to provide the public safety AND afford PIOCs (persons in our care—prisoner) the opportunity to forge a better, healthier life. The system has two faces: 1) the public face of what is says it’s supposed to help people rehabilitate; 2) the face shown to the PIOC population that says the system is there to destroy the PIOC.
Parole is a system the state legislators have instituted to allow prisons to earn release through good behavior. Do your programs and you’ll be released. There is a date where prisoners become eligible for parole: 1/4 of the overall sentence. Then there are parole hearing until a Mandatory Release (MR) date is reached at 2/3 of the overall sentence. But, in 1994 the Wisconsin legislature made the MR into a Presumptive MR (PMR); it’s presumed the prisoner is will be paroled, but it is discretionary.
PMR is the game of parole. He legislative intent was to encourage people to complete treatment programs or face longer incarcerations. Since the law was enacted, it’s been the policy of Wisconsin to retain PIOCs as long as possible, which means past their PMR dates. Parole says ‘we will consider release if you complete treatment.’ By then it’s up to the discretion of the treatment staff whether you enroll and complete; no objective criteria exist. Men are terminated for such things as group member feeling the person isn’t being open enough. What the hell does that mean? And, we’re not talking about the facilitators, but the other PIOCs not feeling validated enough.
One of the frustrating parts from the prisoner perspective is that the creeps get out. Over and over again I see guys that can’t stay away from drugs, booze, or fantasizing over abusing females—the serious creeps— get released. It’s as if Parole selects the guys they know are going to fail in order to point to those released as the typical felon. The system is disgusting.
Then there is the out right, bald faced lying by staff; Parole included. They manufacture records, invent offenses and comments, permanently entering them into a record that they refuse to change, even with court orders to do so. There is no mechanism to challenge the record.
Another game is when Parole requires an approved parole plan but the supervision agents don’t investigate the plans until parole approves release. A catch-22. They deny us for not having a job, but employers don’t agree to hire a person 3 months before release. They deny us for not have a residence, but to rent 3 months before hand you need that month’s rent, a month ahead, a security deposit, and 2 more months to cover up to release; ≈$5,000. Who has that?
The Parole “board” consists of one person making decisions on if they are “comfortable” seeing the person released. There is no objective criteria. Even the completion of treatment doesn’t guarantee release. They completely reject the federal and State’s dept’ of Justice reports regarding recidivism rates and their so vaunted COMPASS test that show petitioning PIOCs to be low-risk. Parole will just say a prisoner is high-risk, and—BLAM!!!—it is so, despite the evidence.
Prison, in Wisconsin, is a social program to help rehabilitate people. It places people into a situation to devalue everything they are, dehumanize, disempowering, isolate and handicap them to the greatest extent possible. Education is considered a threat to security and kept essentially nonexistent. They limit our to resources for educating our selves.
They have a great CNC vocational program, but only a few PIOCs fit the criteria for enrollment; virtually no one can enroll. Out of 24,000, only 7-10 get a chance. Transfer to a minimum prison so the prisoner can work in the industry prior to release is promised, but Wisconsin DOC doesn’t keep that agreement.
What a wonderful social program!
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