(7/10/14) A coalition of church groups is calling for drastic reforms in the Wisconsin Corrections Department.
Over 100 members of the umbrella group WISDOM demanded yesterday that the state release up to three-thousand prisoners who are eligible for parole. They were sentenced before the state's no-parole law took effect in 2000, and the group contended that many have been behind bars much longer than their sentencing judges intended. Those releases could save the state 96-million dollars a year. The group also wants to end over-crowding in the state's prisons, and to put an end to solitary confinement. The group held a news conference to unveil its new campaign called "Reform Now." They then crowded a meeting of a state criminal justice advisory board. Members said they were frustrated, because the state has not made much progress in their call from 2012 to reduce the state prison's population in half, to around 11-thousand inmates by 2015. Corrections Secretary Ed Wall told an A-P reporter that a committee in his agency is looking at solitary confinement issues -- and he believes his department and WISDOM can find agreements on other subjects.