Action: DOC Confirmation Hearing next Wednesday

Dear WISDOM Leaders and Friends:

On February 5, Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Ed Wall offered his resignation. Governor Walker has nominated Mr. Jon Litscher to replace him. Jon Litscher was the DOC Secretary back in 1999–2003, under Governor Thompson. Mr. Litscher’s appointment must be confirmed by the State Senate.

This is an opportunity for all of us to make sure that our concerns about the DOC are heard. There will be a public hearing this coming Wednesday. The public has a right to speak at this hearing, which will be before the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. After that, the entire State Senate will vote on whether or not to confirm Mr. Litscher as Secretary of the Department.

Wednesday, March 2, 10:00 am
Room 411 South, The Capitol building, Madison

Many of the issues of the ROC Wisconsin Campaign are things about which the DOC Secretary can have a huge influence. This includes the issues of Crimeless Revocations, Compassionate Release and Solitary Confinement. The DOC also has a lot to do with the matter of Parole for the Old Law prisoners.

We need as many people as possible to come to the hearing on Wednesday. We don’t need everyone to speak, but the Senators need to understand that there are many people who are concerned about the direction of the DOC. We also need everyone to contact their State Senator.

Our message can be fairly simple:

  • The DOC needs to change its culture of secrecy. The lack of transparency and refusal to listen to any public input under the previous Secretary led to abuse, mismanagement and corruption. The new Secretary needs to pledge to be more open and transparent.

  • The DOC must actively make an effort to reduce the prison population when it can be done so safely. This means making an active effort to facilitate parole, to cut back on revocations, and to increase the numbers granted compassionate release. The previous Secretary refused to take any of the simple measures that could have helped cut down the prison population.

There are many more things to say, but those are the most essential: transparency, and cooperation with efforts to reduce needless incarceration.

We need to ask our State Senators to make those demands of Mr. Litscher if he wants to again serve as DOC Secretary. It is not enough to change the name on the door of the office; the DOC must change its culture.

Please make your voice heard on this matter between now and Wednesday. We need a system that strives for restoration and healing rather than endless and pointless punishment. That change will only happen if the people demand it.

Thank you.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on February 26, 2016

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