Dontez: My experience of MSDF

As I embark on this new path of life, God has shown me the great calling he has blessed me with, and to be a part of. I was given a few guidelines to follow, but God has led me to touch on a topic that is far more important than myself. The main focus of this entry to me is “my experience while behind the walls of M.S.D.F.”

At 24 years of age, I’ve seen men lose their lives… these men lose their lives to a system that is “freely” breaking the very laws that they have set to uphold the “safety” of the community. The state is substituting “rehabilitation” for “mass incarceration.” In this process our due process rights and our constitutional rights are being drug through the mud, as if to say we aren’t human beings. Continue reading “Dontez: My experience of MSDF”

Boston: MSDF is unsanitary and unliveable

The struggle to reintegrate into society is real

On my current case/incarceration, I did not have an initial term of confinement, seeing as how the sentencing judge saw fit to give me probation. However, this is not my first incarceration and I know all too well the “struggle” of trying to re-integrate back into society after being in prison, not once, but twice.

I can honestly say on both occasions (being released from prison), I failed horribly on my quest to succeed. After spending over three years of your life in a Wisconsin State Prison, returning to the same environment, now in an even worse state financially than when you left, it’s a real challenge. What all the programs, all the facilitators and probation agents fail to realize is that we, being fathers, husbands, and at one time sole providers for our families, have been gone for a substantial amount of time. So, we feel obligated to make up for everything that’s been lost, all the years our children went without, our wives have struggled “alone” to provide for our seeds. So it is easy to fall victim to circumstances. The D.C.C. focuses more so on discipline rather than implementing “successful” programs, rehabilitating the offender.

Corrections programs not addressing many and real needs

Don’t misconstrue my notion, it is a fact that the D.C.C. has resources available to help one obtain employment. But, when you’re faced with homelessness, unemployment, lack of support, poverty, lack of self worth, and for many, psychological disabilities, the programs offered by the D.C.C. cannot begin to be deemed successful.

It was no time before I sought to return to my life of drug dealing to provide for my family to make enough to, “in my mind,” make up for my past negligence. I tried the “straight and narrow” for a moment, but I quickly realized that working for the temporary agency (Staffing Partners) being sent to Quad Graphics for 12 hour shifts, only three days a week, wasn’t going to cut it. After taxes and child support I was left with near to none.

MSDF is an unlivable environment

On both my trips back to prison (on revocation)—please note that I had not reoffended. I was sent back to prison because the D.C.C. deemed me “uncooperative” on my parole, thanks to several rule violations. But on my current visit to M.S.D.F, I did re-offend, falling victim to circumstance, by selling drugs.

Although my reasoning for being here is substantiated (in this term) the experience here has been the same every time.

M.S.D.F., in my opinion, defines the statement “cruel and unusual punishment.” Please note that in no way am I the type of man to complain, be combative, nor do I “rebel” against authority. It is my honest opinion that “we” (meaning ourselves) are our own authors of our circumstances. Meaning, it is my own fault that I am here. I’ve made decisions that landed me in jail.

But in any case, being an inmate does not constitute being subjected to unsanitary living conditions, extreme heat, poor and recirculated (ventilated) air to breathe, no exposure to fresh air or sun, for a lengthy period of time. We are subjected to the mood swings, alter-egos and plain out rudeness, if you will, of the staff here.

It is understood on my behalf that prison/jail is not supposed to be a vacation, but M.S.D.F is ridiculously outrageous!

Not to mention, being here, I’ve lost everything I had.

M.S.D.F, in closing, is, if not the, close to the only Wisconsin State Prison that should be deemed inappropriate and judged as an unlivable environment.

 

Anthonio: Denied opportunity

Self-taught entrepreneur

My name is Antonio. Born 10/20/75. Arrested 9/30/94, age 18. While in prison I became self-educated on business and financial literacy. I was denied a vocation while incarcerated. There was no system in place to prepare me for my release, so I studied Black Enterprise Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine. Once released on 3/8/2008 in the heart of the recession, my P.O. denied me the opportunity for employment and would try to prevent me from building my auto paint shop company with a 7:00 curfew.

Sent back to MSDF with no new criminal charges

I was in and out of MSDF and revocated multiple times while never having another criminal charge since 1994. I have a commercial cleaning business, janitorial supply business, commercial supply business, as well as a media company that includes filming and marketing. All this is noted by my p.o. in my log.

Christopher: What are they really trying to accomplish here?

I was 22 years old when I originally received my sentence. Since then I have been removed three separate times and incarcerated here at MSDF more times than I can keep count. Even though I have been battling my disease of addiction, I have not earned or caught a new case since my original charge. As a matter of fact every time I went to prison I always get staffed as community custody. But that doesn’t seem to matter. The only thing that seems to matter here in Milwaukee or at MSDF is keeping all and or any past convicted felons incarcerated regardless of their situation.

My minor offences have resulted in my being locked in a 6 x 12 cell for 20 hours of the day. Sometimes, or actually every time I come here for minor offences, three people to a cell.

As I write, I’m laying on the floor just inches from the toilet all three of us are supposed to use. Not only are we locked away for 20 hours of the day but we are not allowed any recreational activities. Not allowed outside or to feel any fresh air. Continue reading “Christopher: What are they really trying to accomplish here?”

Kermit: Stop this madness

I was released from prison Feb. 7, 2017, and was doing well on parole – no police contacts, no positive drugs screens, I reported  to my agent regularly, etc. I found out that a family member was misappropriating my mother’s funds, so I confronted her about it, and ended up in MSDF for investigation. I’m now facing revocation of my parole.

MSDF has gotten worse

While here, I’ve noticed a lot of things have changed since I was here last. Requests to see authorities go unanswered. Fights often end up in pepper spray being used. Races to the phone is a daily occurrence. We’re assigned public “pretenders” who only show up on the day of a hearing or court appearance, not before, offering no reasonable defense. Continue reading “Kermit: Stop this madness”

Kalvin: 3 people to a cell…can’t be legal

After being released from prison, Kalvin was proud of getting a job because he was trying so hard to stay positive and do the right things. But his parole was revoked and he was sent to MSDF for 18 months for allegations, but never charged with a crime. Here’s his experience with MSDF:

My experience at MSDF has been hectic due to my health issues (sleep apnea and carpal tunnel in both wrists, which leaves my hands numb for days) and due to being placed in a “boat” for a week. A boat is what they use as a bed in a cell that already has two people in it. Three people to a cell can’t be legal. And the fact that we are not able to go outside for fresh air at least one hour is against the law I know for sure, according to the United Nations standards. MSDF fails to adhere to this right of all inside here.

Jermaine: You feel less than human

My name is Jermaine. I was working and going to school online and trying to get myself and home together, while also trying to establish a better relationship with my children. Just being released from prison Feb. 14, 2017, put a strain on my relationship with the woman that I want so badly to marry. She has been in my corner every step of the way since we’ve been together. I’ve made mistakes with my using of drugs and got locked back up. I asked my PO for help and he said yes, but later came with revocation of my 11 months till discharge.

MSDF experience terrible

My experience at MSDF has been a terrible one. I’ve asked for help on different matters that can help me to better myself, with programs and treatments. The staff don’t answer requests, and when you see them they say write a request and send it to them (it’s never answered). Continue reading “Jermaine: You feel less than human”

James: Induced stress, cruel and unjustified punishment

My experience here at MSDF is similar, I’m sure, to the ones you’ve already read. That doesn’t mean I won’t be heard. We as prisoners are persons of their communities. As a member of a free society and one of the greatest governments on this planet. It’s appalling and unconstitutional how this state’s legislators are passing laws to put paroles and/or probation offenders back into a flooded prison system. Continue reading “James: Induced stress, cruel and unjustified punishment”

James: My family struggles

Before I came to MSDF I was working between 60 and 80 hours a week at a recycling center as a heavy machine operator. I was bringing home $2,000 each paycheck.

I’m married to a wonderful woman with our six kids at home. She now is stretching every dollar to keep food in the house and rent paid.

I was sent to MSDF for a PO hold that was placed for a reason that has never been openly established. I was held for tickets from when I got pulled over because of my PO hold. My car was impounded, and because of agent’s delay in speaking with me, I lost my car as well as thousands of dollars worth of clothes and shoes purchased for my kids. Continue reading “James: My family struggles”