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How Much Is Enough Time?

Wisconsin's Broken Parole System

In Wisconsin, more than 2,800 men and women remain incarcerated under the “Old Law”, even though they are legally eligible for parole under the terms of their original sentences. Their continued incarceration costs the State of Wisconsin more than 96 million each year. All of these inmates were sentenced prior to the enactment of the Truth In Sentencing legislation (T.I.S), the current law. 

Consequently, during the Old Law era, Wisconsin judges gave longer sentences with the expectation that inmates would be released after serving 25 percent of their sentence, if all of their conditions were met (see letter below). At this point in time, many have completed their required programs, have solid release plans, have all been incarcerated for more than 25 percent of their sentence, have scored as a low risk to re-offend, maintain good institution behavior and many even work in the community with little to no daily supervision. Still, they are continually told that their release would impose an unreasonable risk to the public and that they have not served enough time, which is not true since they would not be able to go before parole if they had not met the time guidelines of the law (to serve 25% of their sentence). 

Wisconsin is holding the Old Law Inmates to the same laws, standards and guidelines as Truth and Sentence inmates, this is unfair, Old Law Inmates are serving double the time as a TIS inmate. It is time for the Governor, the Department of the Corrections, The Bureau of Classification and Movement and the WI Parole Commission to fix this broken, ineffective, and very expensive system, which is double dipping by authorizing multiple departments/divisions to impose judgement about the release of these Old Law inmates. If they have served their time, met the conditions of parole, allow these men and women to return to their families and become productive members of our society.

The WI DOC, The WI BOCM and The WI Parole Commission has been deviating from Wisconsin's State Legislature 304, the legal process for parole grants. Without accountability, transparency and proper supervision the WI DOC & Parole Commission have been denying parole grants when the inmate has met the legal requirements to receive a parole grant. 

Inmates who were sentenced under the WI Old Laws have no appeal rights or grievance procedures when it comes to Parole, Program Review Committee (P.R.C), Bureau of Classification & Movement (B.O.C.M) decisions (only if a notable error was made), conduct reports, social worker interviews or any other issues related to the Old Law of Parole.  

Keeping inmates incarcerated who have met the conditions to be paroled is one of the contributing factors creating Mass Incarceration and Jail Over Crowding in Wisconsin! 


Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere.

                                                                     -Martin Luther King Jr. 

This is a letter from Judge Bruce E. Schroeder, who sentenced inmates during the Wisconsin Old Law of Parole era.. He admits that he gave longer sentences, as did all judges during this time, because  they expected inmates to be released when they served 25% of their sentence, if all other requirements were met, as stated by WI State Legislature 304 

My husband was sentenced under Wisconsin’s Old Law of Parole. My husband, Baron Walker is guilty of and was charged with the crimes of attempted armed robbery, no one was physically hurt; he has been incarcerated for over 21 years. Baron had  met all of the conditions of parole (the law he was sentenced under), he has a stable home, a strong support system, job security upon release, he is remorseful for his past crimes, and he has positive institutional adjustment and behavior, yet he istill incarcerated with no real explanation.

H.O.P.E. = Honest Opportunity for Parole Eligibility

  • Although former Governor Tommy Thompson felt passionately about changing the WI Parole System (Thus the creation of Truth in Sentence) It is illegal to abuse your power to create additional obstacles for all of the   the inmates who were sentenced under WI The Old Law. 

  • Because of Tommy Thompson's letter (see below), my husband's crime of "Attempted Arm Robbery-Where No One Was Hurt" has turned into a life sentence. When someone commits the very same crime under the new law, Truth in Sentence, they serve 4-11 years, then they go home, My Husband Has Been Incarcerated for 21 Years, I have No Idea When They Will Allow Him To Come Home. 

How Much Time Is Enough Time For Parole Eligible Inmates? The State Of Wisconsin Has Chosen Not To Adhere To The Laws of Parole (WI State Legislature 304), This means that people sentenced under The Old Laws have been forgotten, they are forced to serve more time than their sentencing judges ever intended, even when they have met all of the requirements to receive a Parole Grant!

The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.

                                                                                      -Tom Clancy