From Milwaukee Renaissance

PeaceOfMind: Ex-PrisonersOrganizingEXPOPanelToDiscussClosingMSDFAtJune8RIDProgram

Ex-Prisoners Organizing (EXPO) panel to discuss closing MSDF at June 8 RID program

Members of EXPO (Ex-prisoners Organizing) will present a free panel discussion sponsored by Rid Racism Milwaukee on Thursday, June 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, 2819 W. Highland Boulevard. EXPO is a project of WISDOM, a statewide organization that links faith communities to work for justice. Due to limited space, registration is required and can be processed by clicking here.

The EXPO panelists, who have all been incarcerated at Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF) and are now important community leaders, will speak about what MSDF is and why it should be closed. Topics of discussion will include the inhumane conditions in MSDF, racial disparities in incarceration at this facility, and alternatives to incarcerating people at MSDF. EXPO of Wisconsin Assistant State Director Mark Rice will do the introduction for the event. EXPO of Milwaukee Leaders Ventae Parrow, Yolanda Perkins, Alan Schultz, and Shirley Moffett will be on the panel.

The state of Wisconsin built MSDF in 2001 to house people who have allegedly violated rules of probation, parole, or extended supervision. Wisconsin continues to use this facility to unnecessarily incarcerate thousands of people who have not been convicted of crimes in inhumane conditions.

James Wilborn, who was an EXPO leader, died in MSDF in 2015. The extreme heat at this facility was a factor in his death, as was his inability to obtain medications that he needed there. Several other people have died in MSDF because their psychiatric or medical conditions were improperly monitored or left untreated. Problems facing people at this facility include being locked down 21 hours a day, extreme heat, poor ventilation, no in-person visits, no access to sunlight, no outdoor recreation, and other abuses.

EXPO emerged in 2014 when formerly incarcerated people from around Wisconsin began to gather to discuss what it would look like to have our own statewide organization. Previously imprisoned women and men lead EXPO. Our members provide support to each other and organize to transform Wisconsinís unjust penal system. We receive support from family members of currently and formerly incarcerated people and allies who have not experienced incarceration. EXPO has active chapters in Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire, Green Bay, the Fox Cities, and Superior and we are developing chapters in Racine, Kenosha, Beloit, Waukesha County, and Wausau.

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