PART OF FFUP April 2019 Report from Solitary
Sent to Governor Evers and WI DOC Secretary Kevin Carr
The BIG Lie:
(and what YOU can do to help)
(and what YOU can do to help)
TIS “kids” released without treatment while seasoned old law prisoners languish
Today we see Wisconsin saddled with stuffed prisons in which the mission to rehabilitate prisoners and keep the public safe has been largely lost. Conditions for staff have deteriorated to the point there is a severe shortage of staff at all levels from professional health care staff to guards and many prisons are on almost permanent lockdown.
The wise solution is to incarcerate only those people who need to be in prison . And treat and train- rehabilitate those we do lock up. Instead we have the most obscene irony: While most old law prisoners (OL) , are told at their parole hearings that they will not be released because they “have not served enough time for punishment” and/or releasing them would the “pose an undue risk to the public”, the DOC releases the truth in sentencing inmates ( TIS) regularly as the law demands often without treatment or training and virtually no support and often straight from years in solitary.
The Old Law prisoners, who are entombed for decade after decade, have had the training and treatment that was available in the years before TIS was enacted, and many got college degrees through Pell Grants then offered. They are truly ready for society in the main; yet the prison proponents try to whip the public into hysteria over “murderers” and “Rapists” while in truth, people change and these people have had long years of learning and want to give back.
At the same time our resources are wasted on keeping Old law prisoners because, we are told, they are “Dangerous”, very little training or treatment is available to TIS inmates,( those incarcerated after 2000). Most are under thirty and have not learned yet the lessons on self control the years teach.
Many are mentally ill and wind up in solitary where suicides and suicide attempts are daily occurrences. Many TIS inmates beg for treatment at Wisconsin Resource Center (WRC, the one treatment center available to the system)- before release and many are not given a referral. Each prison’s social workers are tasked with referring disabled prisoners of their choice to an organization that prepares SSI benefits before release but that does not happen for most mentally ill prisoners and they are released little hope of success. They are given a state issues ID, food stamps and a curfew. A letter from one inmate writing one month before release sums up the situation:
“I get released in a month back to the same neighborhood where I was before prison . I have had no treatment and no training and am drug addicted. I have no support and the DOC offers almost none. What do you think I will end up doing? “
So many people are stuck in isolation as it is the only room the DOC has and the only way it can deal with the lack of staff. A final listing is here and it is hard to choose—there are so many that need to be heard. The first 3 people are example of the many who need transfer to WRC( Wisconsin Resource Center, the one treatment center available to mail inmates) NOW- they will be released soon, after long term solitary abuse and no treatment. They beg for a chance to make it on the outside and need real treatment. Right now that is only offered at WRC. And the
WIDOC has refused to refer these people. The fourth person is in long term seg and
has a long sentence is not making it psychically and needs relief. All and about 7 others
were part of our now defunct class action. We will ride again and are gathering strength
and structure- will not try again until we have either a lawyer or permission to keep
our mail unopened except by stated recipient.
BD 1990,28y.o.; out date 11 5 19
Many instances of self harm- which is a way they relieve tension, and ironically, verify that they are alive . He has asked repeated to go to WRC for treatment but is told no because ”he has been there already.” WRC benefits tend to be short lived because inmates come back
after a short time to the same bad conditions in the DOC and there is not follow up . WRC just before release as Scott needs , would be invaluable. He repeatedly gets conduct reports for self harm and more time. This is possible because, although seriously mentally ill inmates cannot get conduct reports for behavior due to their mental illness, The DOC has change diagnoses of many of its seg inmates and this guys has been “Cured”by diagnosis..
Tyler L Milton 596157 WCI PO Box 351, Waupun , WI 53963; bd1998 ; 20 y.o. ( out 2 4 20)
9 16 18
I am writing to let you know that I had a failed suicide attempt. The stress is getting to me. Multiple correctional officers have been telling me a lot of messed up things. Some examples of what they have been saying include:“just kill yourself already”“you have nothing to live for” I’ve been gone two days, why are you still alive?” “I’m going to poison your food”
“I hope you die in your sleep tonight. That way you die peacefully and
I won’t have to put up with you ever
again. That’s a win win situation, it can’t get better than that.”
“Next time you cut yourself, cit deeper. Hit a vein You won’t feel a thing.”
“oh, your back? I was hoping you wouldn’t make it through surgery.”
Please consider adding me to your team of Plaintiffs. If it’s not for money it’s for justice
I am a seriously mentally ill inmate with at least 4 suicide attempts in the last 5 months.
WCI psychological department keeps telling me that I am harming myself and trying to commit suicide for attention when in fact, I really want to die. Psychological services telling
me I try to kill myself to get attention gets more focused on trying to die. WCI is horrible.
3 inmates have been beaten in three days, this week already. I have been in RHU since
9 8 2018.a Correctional officer brought me: a nine volt battery, a metal melding rod, 2
cigarettes, electrical writing and more things. I swallowed the battery, requiring surgery, 10 days later after I swallowed the battery, they decided to have it removed. Correctional officers have been retaliating against me and many other fellow inmates .
Here he names the most abusive officers. IT is to be noted that in 2014 a series of article on 40 alleged assaults perpetrated by staff on inmates were featured in the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and after a bit public outcry and pretend rule changes by the DOC , it all went back to “normal and conditions are worse at WCI in that the guard involved in most the assaults now heads the unit- promoted for his abuse, looks like.
WI WATCH 2014 articles on Seg abuse here:
Jordan Cosby 501015; WCI, PO Box 351, Waupun, WI 53963
age 27 BD, 1991/requesting treatment at WRC/release date 4 27 20/
I am strictly asking for an immediate transfer to WRC for mental health
treatment in general population on unit 17 specifically long term treatment due to the need of individual treatment and also a diagnosis examination for MH2A paranoia, PTSD,Schizophrenia and a restraining order against WCI and WCI staff!
9 12 18 They been fucking with me so much that I can’t take this shit no more. I just writing you for your help. I have been in segregation since 6 7 17 for a self defense physical altercation where it was a group fight. They are oppressing me and using corporal punishment which is prohibited . they are retaliating against me due to them violating my constitutional rights by using excessive force by knocking my teeth out by slamming me and lying about and they settled the claim is there charged me facing 171/2 imprisonment and fail to transfer me to another institution or county because they are going to railroad me. 27 years young black in a generation of Black Lives Matter and police brutality is at its high and I’m a victim of it with mental health problems . I need to get out of this prison and this county.
I placed myself in observation after another inmate name Harris . he’s a white man, did not get his name- he was in a cell A-202 RHU and has been literally cutting and ripping his ear and they not doing nothing about it. He’s been to the ER 3 times in Madison and it was a flash back trigger for me and I severely cut myself and they did nothing so I write you and Cristal and my mother before I faint. So for intentionally keeping myself in OBS until Madison comes talk to me. I wrote Jim Schwochert DAI administrator to come talk to me or they transfer me . Dr Van Buran has been abusing her authority just placing people in obs for no reason and since she been here in WCI 2015 numerous inmates committed suicide. Just recently in July.
Michael Pugh 615180 GBCI PO Box 19033, Green Bay, WI 54307
bd 1995, 23 outdate, 9 2019
Peg? These CO’s is doing us inmates wrong. I got placed in the hole because cellmate got caught with porn. One of the COs asked me to pat search me and I let him while I was talking to CO Wickman another person came from behind and grabbed me by the shoulder roughly. I turned around and got in a fighting stance because I thought that it was a inmate that grabbed me like that. All the correctional officers rushed me to the all and hand cuffed me and I didn’t do nothing wrong. And in the rule book correctional officers don’t supposed to put they hands on an inmate unless they say it’s okay. The white shirt here gave me a 60 DS(disciplinary segregation) time in the hole with no half time and I did do nothing wrong. Not only that but in seg us over here don’t even get rec or go to the law library. They always make excuses that they busy but don’t none of these correctional officers even try to make sure we get what we got coming. And what’s so crazy we get oatmeal bread and peanut butters damner all the time for breakfast. They can’t even feed us inmates enough to keep us full until lunch time. Ever since this warden came here everything been going downhill. They’ve given us a 60 for 3 Ds and 3 Ds ain’t nothing but cell confinement or loss of rec. They don’t even give us face towels when its shower time in segregation. They don’t even have cameras in the hallways or they don’t even do 30 minute rounds and come and check up on us inmates and make sure we’re alive. One time I didn’t have my inhaler so I had to kick me door and I was kicking for four hours before they came and seen what I wanted. I try to ICE ( file with Inmate complaint examiner)these things but I know my mail is being messed with because I wait months and months before I have to just write another one. But I got so tired of they B.S. I just stop writing them altogether. I really do appreciate the stamps because I’m all by myself in here and don’t have nobody doing nothing for me. It be very hard at times for me to get hygiene because I don’t have no money. Other inmates be having to give me things. All my family is gone so when these correctional officers do things to me I just try to keep my cool. But trying to do that all the time is not easy that’s why I be segregation so much because I don’t let nobody disrespect at all. Sometimes I feel like giving up on life because I don’t have nobody who love me and it’s very hard in here but Allah knows I’m trying so hard. I don’t have a tv or radio so that’s why I just stay in segregation. I just wish I had a family who loved me and would do things for me when I need it most. Bless you, you are a special person and I wish I had a mother like you who can love me.
Mr Scolman has been incarcerated for 11 years. He has been placed in solitary confinementon numerous occasions for from 3 months to a year. In 2016 he served a year in solitary andthen was placed on A/C. He participated on the 2016 hunger strike that protested solitary confinement conditions and wrote an affidavit that testified that his mental faculties weredeteriorating due to the psychological torture he was enduring and that after he was throughwith the disciplinary side of his solitary, they were going to place him on AC.
His description at the time: “I’m subject to psychological torture, which leads to continual deterioration of my mental faculties. I am denied human contact, which leads me to further anti-social behavior, which in turn causes me more problems. It is a slippery slope. I am currently held in a cell with a window facing a brick wall, no view of nature, the sky, sun or outside life. …. I have contracted many psychological “ticks” such as OCD, communication problems, and PTSD. I’m continually stressed out over insignificant things. And it’s only getting worse."
Joshua Scolman is an example of the many prisoner stuck in seg with no outdate in the foreseeable future. He is asking for help in getting a transfer out of WCI as he’s been housed there for 11 years and feels he is being constantly harassed and retaliated against and believes a new start would help. His out date is not until 2058- he needs a way to make his time tolerable.
PLEASE WRITE / CALL THESE PEOPLE:
We ask for letters to governor Evers and DOC Secretary Kevin Carr asking for two things (example included)
A) Prisoners’ requests for treatment at WRC before release MUST BE honored . WRC( Wisconsin Treatment Center) is the only treatment center available to most male prisoners. It is run by both the DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) and the WIDOC. FFUP is working with many people who are desperate to go to this treatment center before being released and the excuses for not sending are many, here are some we are dealing with now-
1) They have been there before – (prisoners are returned to the same conditions in The DOC after treatment so the effect is not lasting)
2) they get plenty of treatment in the DOC- many fake programs and paper programs but no real treatment in solitary units.
3) They are not mentally ill , The main treatment technique of the DOC is to change diagnoses from serious ( needing treatment, cannot be punished for behavior dues to mental illness) to MH 1 or MH 0- minor problems or none. with his classification, the most draconian responses to acts of self harm and acting out are allowed.
4) WRC will not accept anyone on Administrative Confinement ( people put on infinite solitary confinement not because of behavior but because a danger is perceived- supposed to be “ non punitive”) A call to WRC revealed that this is a complete fabrication- they vet each prisoner who applies and make their own decisions on admittance.
B) Need for a mental health treatment Facility for long term treatment of male prisoners
The second thing to stress in your letter is the need for a mental health treatment center modeled on the treatment center court ordered at the Women’s prison in Fond du Lac,WI.
WRC can be a life saver for those listed above who are soon to go home- it will greatly enhance their chance of successfully getting back to the community . However a temporary stay at WRC and then back to the DOC and the same old same old is what usually happens and it does not work over the long term. We need a mental health treatment center with trained staff and all new rules and a new direction with mission that respects the value of human life and understands that people change and change for the better when given a real second chance. Long term treatment is needed. A former DOC psychologist who worked at many DOC correctional institutions reported that Mental health care at the TCI treatment center is not perfect but it is good. It provides an environment where the best in staff and prisoner/patients can flourish.
Governor Tony Evers
PO Box 7863; Madison, WI 53707
Kevin Carr ,WI DOC Secretary
PO Box 7925;Madison, WI 53707
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes
PO Box 2043, Madison, WI 53702-2043
I write to you with two demands both stemming from my concern about the overuse and abuse of solitary confinement in Wisconsin’s prisons. We know about the understaffing, overtime pay, overcrowding and the use of solitary confinement to keep all in control. I am always concerned with our use of solitary and the fact that more than 15 days in solitary is internationally considered torture. But here we are dealing with the specific problem facing mentally ill TIS( truth in sentencing) prisoners who are being released without treatment or training after months and years in solitary and with very little support when they get out.
How does this keep the public safe? How does this fulfill the DOC mission rehabilitate?
These prisoners beg for treatment at the Wisconsin treatment center before release and are mostly refused by the DOC for various bogus reasons. I ask that you investigate the DOCs entire policy on this but particularly look at the often reported changing of diagnoses of prisoners from serious ( MH2) to not serious (MH1) effecting an immediate cure in order to deny treatment at WRC, and also to permit use of the most draconian punishment tactics in response to behavior out of the inmate’s control.
Please make a policy that mandates referral to WRC before release and if WRC refuses, the WRC’s response is to be given in its original form to the prisoner.
My second demand concerns the need for a mental health treatment facility for the long term treatment of male prisoners. This should be modeled on the treatment center at the women’s prison in Fond du Lac WI, which was built as the result of a lawsuit settlement and court order. The Wisconsin Resource Center (WRC) can be a life saver for those who are soon to go home- it will greatly enhance their chance of successfully getting back to the community . However a temporary stay at WRC and then back to the DOC and the same old same old with no follow through is what usually happens and it does not work over the long term.
We need a mental health treatment center with trained staff and all new rules and a new direction with mission that respects the value of human life and understands that people change and change for the better when given a real second chance. Long term treatment is needed. A former DOC psychologist who worked at many DOC correctional institutions reported that Mental health care at the TCI treatment center is not perfect but it is good. It provides an environment where the best in staff and prisoner/patients can flourish.
We need a commitment to real treatment and a mental health treatment center for long term treatment, coupled with a drastic reduction of population. Solitary confinement overuse and abuse is how this system deals with overcrowding and understaffing. This is a terrible place to work for many people and will be until the DOC reclaims its mission. Increasing Wages cannot solve the core problem alone and we demand that the WIDOC renew its commitment to its mission- rehabilitate prisoners and keep the public safe.
your name and address
Penpaling- all prisoners would love a penpal . Addresses are with the prisoner’s photos here , we have penpal blogs and anyone on any of our 30 some blogs would love to hear from you. FFUP provides forwarding service so you do not have to use your own return address. It is very rewarding, for most people take time with letters and generally are more open than with tweets and twitters and emails. Also these people have gobs of time and know ow to focus. I am available to discuss any concerns brought to me, as working with prisoners can be difficult- Sometimes you have to show them what a friend is.
Forwarding address if you do not want to your own: your name c/o/FFUP; 29631 Wild Rose Drive; Blue River, Wi 53518. My phone and email: peg Swan 608-536-3993;firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you give me your real address and name so I can get the inmate’s mail to you.
Here is DOC website to look up placement of prisoners ( they are moved a lot) and other info like Crimes convicted of and when etc.: https://appsdoc.wi.gov/lop/)