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 .

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/

 

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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Cedric: Fix it or demolish the place

Being held in M.S.D.F. is a joke. They don’t ever follow the rules printed down in the handbook but they want you to abide by the rules. A couple of years ago I saw an inmate bleeding and begging for help, but the sergeant that was on duty was acting like a rookie, not knowing what to do and getting paid $19-$20 an hour…for what?

I’ve been sleeping on the same pillow cases and sheets for weeks. Something needs to be done or demolish the place. I had a real nice job being a forklift operator making $13 an hour and had an apartment. Now I am revoked, stuck in M.S.D.F.

Ventae Parrow: Time to Shut Down MSDF

It is time to shut down Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF) and build communities.

I’m one who never thought I would ever see a place like Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility as many times as has happened without committing or being convicted of any new crimes.

I was held captive for the first time in this nine-floor, high-rise, supermax, concentration camp, inhumane, unconstitutional, torture chamber-style prison in 2002 as a stop off on the way to Dodge Correctional Institution.

I’m telling you it was the most miserable two weeks of incarceration I have ever experienced. I remember not being given access to natural air or sunlight, contact visits, recreation, clean clothes, proper hygiene, adequate health care nor appropriate portions of food.

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service published an opinion piece regarding MSDF by EXPO of Milwaukee Leader Ventae Parrow, who has been detained at MSDF for the past seven months. Click here to read the article.

Wisconsin candidates for governor advocate for sweeping criminal justice reform

At a forum on criminal justice Wednesday, Jan. 19, in Madison, Wis., democratic candidates for governor called for sweeping criminal justice reform, including an end to a defective process called crimeless revocation. This process puts people who have been released from prison back behind bars even when they have not broken the law. It causes people struggling to reintegrate into society to lose any progress they’ve made as they work to establish stable housing, jobs and family connections.