Here is WISDOM’s victory statement. See below for history of bill. Click here for “Prison bill dies in state senate.
WISDOM – Linking Communities across Wisconsin to Work for Justice
1. Senate Bill 54 is dead!
Many WISDOM leaders helped to lead the opposition to SB54, the bill that would have irresponsibly spent $350 million to build a new prison in Wisconsin. After so many visits and phone calls, the State Senate decided not to even vote on it: they completely dropped it from their agenda yesterday.
This is huge victory, and it sets the stage for serious conversations about how our state must responsibly reduce the prison population. WISDOM members really answered the call last week. Hundreds of you contacted Senators’ offices. About 100 of you went to the Capitol on short notice: besides more than 50 MOSES members, there were people from MICAH, RIC, CUSH, ESTHER, JOSHUA, NAOMI and JOB. We made a difference!
Here is the initial call to action from WISDOM.
Two weeks ago, the Wisconsin State Assembly recklessly approved a massive new expenditure of tax dollars to build a prison we don’t need. They amended Senate Bill 54 (SB54) so that it includes authorization to borrow $350 million to build a new prison, as well as another $50 million per year in additional spending.
The State Senate can stop this irresponsible plan when they meet later this month.
Next Tuesday we need as many people as possible to come to the Capitol to let Senators know that SB54 is a terrible idea. They need to stop it, and focus on policies that will actually make us safer.
Join us in Madison. Whether or not you will be with us in Madison, we are also asking that you call your State Senator today. You only need to contact your Senator’s office, not your Assembly Rep. It’s fine to talk with staff members.
Some things you can say to them include:
• $350 million is a huge amount of money that the Assembly added at the last minute. That is reckless. Before spending our money on a new prison, the state needs to look at the ways it can safely reduce the prison population: by expanding Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD); by ending Crimeless Revocations; by re-starting the Parole process. We could cut down the prison population by thousands by just doing those things.
• Other states, both Democrat and Republican-led, are reducing their prison populations. Texas and Michigan are 2 examples of states that are closing prisons. And, the states that are reducing their prison populations are the ones seeing the greatest DECREASE IN CRIME.
As citizens, we want our leaders to take a careful look at how we can have less people in prison, rather than make a rash decision to borrow $350 million for our children and grandchildren to pay back.