Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections bans a wide variety of books inside Wisconsin prisons, including martial arts and gunsmithing. Unfortunately, the bans go far beyond weapons and violence, extending into topics such as fantasy, gaming, coding, web design, and search engine optimization. The latter makes it harder for prisoners to keep current on subjects that help reestablish a career after serving their time. Learn more here.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is pledging $125 million to arts and humanities organizations focusing on mass incarceration. Read this article to learn the powerful story of Dean Gillespie, a wrongfully convicted man who found inspiration through art while behind bars.
A long overdue day has finally arrived. The federal Bureau of Prisons is closing the Special Management Unit at Thomson penitentiary in Illinois. The unit is notorious for being one of the deadliest in the federal prison system, generating frequent reports of violence and abuse. The closure comes on the heels of reporting by NPR and The Marshall Project, which pointed out five suspected homicides and two suspected suicides had occurred in the unit since it opened in 2019. Learn more here.
The Madison, Wisconsin Community Alternative Response for Emergency Services (or CARES) program answered over half of the city’s mental health calls in 2022. This totaled 935 calls within their first year of operation, and “only 3% of CARES calls resulted in transfers to MPD officers, who, by state law, are the only people who can engage in emergency detentions.” Imagine how many people will be helped by this program instead of hurt during a crisis. Read more here.