Ventae Parrow: It’s unconstitutional, inhumane and unjust

Ventae“It’s unconstitutional, inhumane, unjust and also absolutely unacceptable for a prison, in the inner city of Milwaukee or anywhere else, to be overly populated with people who haven’t been convicted of crimes. It is inhumane to have three people reside in a cell designed for only one person; be exposed to cruel and unusual punishment; deprived of natural air, sunlight, human contact, appropriate health care, dental care and mental health care; and denied accurate legal assistance, law library access and opportunities to effectively rehabilitate and be providers.” #CLOSEmsdf Campaign Leader Ventae Parrow

#CLOSEmsdf Campaign Leader Ventae Parrow, who was recently detained at MSDF for nine months, understands that the people closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Ventae recently argued that it is time to shut down MSDF and build communities in a piece that he wrote for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Click here to read the piece.

2018 is a going to be a crucial year for the #CLOSEmsdf Campaign. We need your help to ensure that this year will be remembered as a historic year for change. Join us at the next monthly #CLOSEmsdf Campaign meeting in Milwaukee on Tuesday, April 17th at 6 pm to get involved with the movement for equity and justice.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1934974013391756/ to RSVP and for information.

If you do not live near Milwaukee but want to get involved, please contact Mark Rice at mark@justleadershipusa.org to learn about how you can help advance the campaign .

Danny: MSDF is the worst possible place

For three years now, Danny has been trying to re-integrate into society after serving time for a burglary conviction. He started parole March 2015. Here he describes his experience with trying to get his life back together, and how that was derailed, ending with a stay in MSDF:

First year of parole went great, got a new job after the work release and started building my life back up. Went half on a condo with girlfriend and half on a new car also. Parole switched me to a different agent and she switched me from [visiting P.O.] once a month to once a week for no reason, after I already earned once a month for staying out of trouble. She was after me for some reason, still don’t know why to this day. Continue reading “Danny: MSDF is the worst possible place”

Charles: MSDF should be shut down

I have been in and out of the system since 2008. There were times that I may have deserved to be incarcerated, but there were also times like this one [in Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, or MSDF] that I don’t deserve to be.

Not even offering minimum requirements for prison programming

For MSDF to be considered a prison, they have no kind of programs as far as vocational goes. I’ve been locked up for a month now. I have written the program director just to ask for different modules to do while being incarcerated and I’ve gotten no answer. It’s been two weeks since I sent my request.

Inhumane conditions

I’ve been placed in a “boat” [plastic sled-type bed on floor] for sleeping arrangements at the beginning of my stay here. The food that they serve us, I feel as if I’m getting a children’s plate. For people without money on their books, they used to give soap every other day, now they only give it once a week.

Shut it down

MSDF, in my thoughts, should be shut down. I thank you for allowing me to share my concerns.

DA: The goal isn’t to say “gotcha”

John Chisholm, Milwaukee County DA, discusses reentry programs and problems on RiverWest Radio:

You should hold people accountable for what they do. But you should not use the supervision period for perpetual confinement. It’s not in people’s interest or the state’s, in terms of how much we spend on individuals who are incarcerated….

And just as importantly, it has detrimental effects in the community itself, which extends to other members of the community who are often dependent on them for income and support. …

The ultimate goal isn’t to say “gotcha” on a rule violation and send you back to prison….What we need to work on is connecting people with the resources they need to help them be successful. That’s not only the most effective thing to do but the best thing for the community – to integrate everyone back into the community in a safe and productive way.

See the full interview and other programs at http://www.riverwestradio.com/show/expo-ex-prisoners-organizing/

 

Joshua: This place kind of makes you lose your mind

The first time my agent locked me up was for a money violation around May 2017. I had a couple hundred dollars around. Second time he locked me up is the situation I’m in now, being revocated for alleged violations. They gave me 2 years 4 months and 28 days. And I haven’t had no case, just allegations

Being locked up in MSDF is not a good experience. This place is run like a max. We’re always locked in and they feed you like you’re a toddler. It if wasn’t for the canteen, you’d starve. You get no sunlight. It’s a building inside of a building. No fresh air, just recycled air. Continue reading “Joshua: This place kind of makes you lose your mind”

Devante: Handcuffed everywhere we go

My experience being locked up in MSDF has been hard because we don’t get fresh air, we can’t move around off the unit. We get handcuffed everywhere we go. Each floor gets treated differently. I feel we should get equal treatment. If this is supposed to be a prison, then everybody should be able to get TV, radio, clothes(grays), shoes, etc. Not just the ninth floor.  Continue reading “Devante: Handcuffed everywhere we go”

Carlos: This is not for humans

I’m locked down in this place and it is destroying my life in many ways. The good thing that I have going is I believe in God and I’m strong during this hard time. Yes, I have sinned many times in life and made many mistakes that caused me my freedom by landing in jails and prisons all over this state and other states as well, since I was 14 years of age.

And every time that I made mistakes and got incarcerated, I have always made big changes in life, to get out free and be more successful. It has taken me many years, but I won’t give up on changing for a better life. Continue reading “Carlos: This is not for humans”

Day of Empathy Rally Against Revocations

The #CLOSEmsdf Coalition will host a news conference and rally as part of Cut 50’s nationwide Day of Empathy. The rally will build empathy for all Wisconsinites who are behind bars, and protest the unjust incarceration of Ventae Parrow and thousands of others being inhumanely detained on crimeless rule violations and allegations.

On Tuesday, March 6 at Noon members of the #CLOSEmsdf Coalition will testify outside the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF) at 1015 N 10th St.

Speakers will include:
Charles Hampton and Sylvester Jackson, EXPO
Bernadette Parrow (Ventae’s aunt)
Ben Turk, Milwaukee IWOC
Ronald Simpson-Bey, Just Leadership USA

Apply for emerging leaders training in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Just Leadership USA, a #closemsdf coalition partner, believes that America’s most challenging barrier to expansive, systemic criminal and juvenile justice reform is the absence of clear and consistent leadership by those who have been directly affected by our failed criminal justice policies. Through our Emerging Leaders trainings and our 12-month Leading with Conviction training, JLUSA is building a nationwide network of advocates and organizers united by a shared vision for justice reform. Apply now at bit.ly/el2018wi

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