See Facebook event at bit.ly/antiversary
See Facebook event at bit.ly/antiversary
Nationwide Prison Strike Aug. 21-Sept 9 Learn more at IWOC
Prisoners across the country will refuse to work, effectively shutting down facilities and creating a direct-action crisis for prisons that depend upon forced labor of prisoners.
#CLOSEmsdf Coalition Meeting Tuesday, Sept 18, 6 p.m., Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 N. 4th St. (now Vel R. Phillips Ave.), Milwaukee
Monthly picketing, 11:30 a.m., September 27. Please share and invite. https://www.facebook.com/events/281843855877266
#CLOSEmsdf and #buildMKE Day, Monday, Oct. 8 (MSDF was opened on October 8, 2001)
#CLOSEmsdf ONe-Day Training, Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Suite 108 of Welford Sanders Enterprise Center, 2821 N. 4th St. (now Vel R. Phillips Ave.), Milwaukee
Columbia Justice Lab/JLUSA Report on Mass Supervision in Wisconsin Release Events:
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. State Capitol, Madison, Wis., and 6 p.m. in Milwaukee. More information to follow.
Coalition of Directly Impacted Grassroots Advocates in Wisconsin Calls for the Next Governor and Legislature to Enact Policies to Depopulate, Close, and Demolish the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF)
Statement from Mark Rice, #CLOSEmsdf Campaign Coordinator
“Today, the #CLOSEmsdf coalition held a press conference in Madison to increase pressure on all candidates on the ballot throughout Wisconsin. Launched in 2017 by people who have been directly harmed by the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, this coalition is how we bring our experiences to the forefront of a national movement demanding bold overhaul of the carceral system and transformative change in our communities. Against that backdrop, we demand that the next Governor and Legislature enact policies that will lead to the depopulation, closure, and demolition of MSDF.
“Since it was built in 2001, MSDF has claimed at least 17 lives. It is an irredeemable torture chamber that costs Wisconsin taxpayers $40 million per year and that inflicts incalculable damage on our communities. The inhumane conditions in this prison harm thousands of people every year. The extreme heat in the summer is overbearing, adequate ventilation is nonexistent, and there is no access to outdoor space, direct sunlight, or fresh air. Many people there are in lockdown for at least 20 hours a day, and in-person visits are forbidden. It is unsafe for anyone, including the people who work there. Even worse is the fact that MSDF was built solely to cage people accused of violating conditions of their post-prison supervision. The misguided policies and practices that force people to be detained at MSDF are tearing families apart and draining resources that could instead be used to build safer, stronger, and healthier communities.
“Wisconsin’s post-prison supervision rate is already 50% higher than the rest of the country, and the harm it causes is enabled by this state-sanctioned abomination. Leading candidates for Governor committed to working with the #CLOSEmsdf coalition to decarcerate Wisconsin and close this prison. Anyone who wins election today has a moral obligation to act on that commitment. It’s long past time to shut down MSDF, and redirect the money being wasted there into our communities and community-based support services, instead.”
Read the full story here.
In a powerful piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that highlights the work of #CLOSEmsdf Leaders, Barbara J. Miner writes that MSDF “is a brutal, merciless solution to a problem that, under more enlightened policies wouldn’t exist.”
July 14, 2018 [Milwaukee, WI] – A group of Milwaukee performance artists descend tonight upon the annual Bastille Day’s crowd, promoting positive body awareness clad only in latex body paint, and generally embodying the spirit of the 17th century revolutionaries through their performances. Their message is delivered through historical re-enactments, clever costuming, and public rally cries to “storm the local Bastille” (Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility).
More information about Milwaukee’s own Bastille can be found at https://closemsdf.org/
For live updates and photos from the event: #StormBastilleDaysMKE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2018
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Rice 608-843-0171 or Alan Schultz 414-366-9116
MILWAUKEE – The #CloseMSDF campaign, a coalition of local, state & national organizations calling for the closure of Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), are asking for answers to reports coming from inside of MSDF that a detainee being housed on the 7th floor attempted to hang himself late Sunday afternoon.
MSDF Leadership released the following statement:
“It was reported to #CLOSEmsdf organizers beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening that a suicide attempt had taken place inside of MSDF. As temperatures outside hovered around 90 degrees this weekend the temperatures inside of MSDF were over 100 degrees. #CLOSEmsdf organizers were monitoring the heat inside MSDF with the help of detainees and their families, when the report was made regarding a suicide attempt. MSDF and the Department of Corrections Leadership have yet to address the issue.”
“We ask the public to contact your State Elected Officials including the Governor and demand transparency regarding this and other suicide attempts within MSDF. 62% of the detainees inside of MSDF suffer from a mental health issue. The inhumane conditions inside of MSDF do not promote best practices in supporting people suffering from mental health issues and instead, further deteriorate peoples’ mental state.”
“Best practices in mental health dictate that the least restrictive setting be used to treat people with mental illness. #CLOSEmsdf denounces the conditions at MSDF – a building constructed inside of a building with poor ventilation, extreme heat, no outdoor recreation, no windows, 22 hours of lockdown a day, poor medical treatment and no in-person visits. We demand the state take steps to close this facility and move detainees with mental health issues into proper placements in the community.”
“It should not take people attempting suicide or dying to get humane treatment. It is #CLOSEmsdf’s position that this facility should be shut down and that individuals needing treatment or programming to assist with their success on probation/parole should be allowed to do so in the least restrictive setting in their community where their support system is the strongest and they have the greatest chance for success not in a facility that mimics continual solitary confinement.”
“We demand that Wisconsin’s elected leaders including the Governor address mental health needs of MSDF detainees and provide relief immediately due to the inhumane conditions due to life-threatening conditions, especially for people with mental health issues.
For more information on the #CLOSEmsdf Campaign please visit closemsdf.org
The forces and friends driving the Campaign to Close the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility gathered last night at Hephatha Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, to mark their successes in the fight to close this sweat box unfit for humans.
MSDF is an irredeemable torture chamber. It represents how mass supervision fuels mass incarceration. It was built to warehouse people alleged to have violated rules of probation or parole – infractions like missing an appointment or being late for curfew. MSDF is taking lives and destroying communities
This campaign has shifted the conversation in Wisconsin. Since we launched the campaign a year ago:
Last night at the 1-year anniversary event, people witnessed to their experiences of wrongful incarceration by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and coalition members stated their commitments, plans and demands. Continue reading “Marking progress and renewing the call to action at the 1-year mark of the fight to close Wisconsin’s torture chamber”