The prison population in Wisconsin has more than tripled since 1990. Wisconsin has the highest black male incarceration rate in the country. Half of African American men in their 30s in Milwaukee County have been in state prison. Incarceration is expensive and comes with additional social costs. We can keep people out of prison:
- Increase funding for Treatment Alternatives and Diversions (TAD). A 2012 study showed that by fully funding the state’s Treatment Alternatives and Diversions fund, Wisconsin could keep 3,000 people per year out of the state’s prisons, and more than 27,000 from ever going to jail.
- Reform Wisconsin’s sentencing laws. Inordinately long prison sentences do nothing to enhance safety, they are extremely costly, and they reduce the odds that the offender will be successfully re-integrated back into the community when she/he is released.
- Keep all 17 year-olds in the juvenile system.