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The Mass Incarceration of Black Males in Wisconsin

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Erika Broxton

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of The Mass Incarceration of Black Males in Wisconsin

Erika Broxton
The MASS incarceration of Black Males in Wisconsin
Incarceration in Wisconsin
Causes of Incarceration
Causes for Incarceration Continued
The leading causes for African Americans convictions in Wisconsin.
Mass incarceration:

Defining mass incarceration
Alternatives to incarceration
In Wisconsin:
Changes in laws contributing to mass incarceration of lower-risk offenders, funded with savings from reduced incarceration (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).
Technical Violators of probation rules should be diverted whenever appropriate, to community supervision to allow employed ex-offenders to continue working instead of going back to prison (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).
Funding for employment training, job placement, and driver's licensing should target the large population of young black males approaching adulthood (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).
Weather called mass incarceration, mass imprisonment, the prison boom, this phenomenon refers to the current American experiment in incarceration, defined by comparatively and historically extreme rates of imprisonment and by the concentration of imprisonment among African American men living in neighborhood of concentrated economic disadvantage (Wildeman, 2012).
The prison populations in the state and county grew rapidly during the 1990's, driven by new laws governing drug-related arrests, mandatory minimum sentencing, mandatory three-strikes, and truth-in-sentencing laws. The annual number of drug imprisonments for Milwaukee County men rose from around 300 to 1990 to a higher of over 1500 in 2004, then declining to below 700 in 2011 (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).
Causes for Incarceration Con't
Three Strikes Law-Three-strikes laws are statutes enacted by state governments in the United States which mandate state courts to impose harsher sentences on habitual offenders who are convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. In most jurisdictions, only crimes at the felony level qualify as serious offenses. Sentencing can range from a minimum of 25 years to a maximum of life imprisonment (typically the defendant is given the possibility of parole with a life sentence) (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).

1997 Wisconsin Act 283, passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Tommy Thompson to take effect on June 30, 1998, increases maximum sentences for felony convictions and changes the sentencing structure, including the elimination of parole. Popularly termed “truth-in-sentencing”, the law applies to crimes committed on or after December 31, 1999 (Wisconsin Briefs, 2002) .
Mandatory minimum drug sentencing
(MMDS) laws were established by Congress
in 1986 and 1988 as part of the Anti-
Drug Abuse Acts. These laws created strict
penalties for the use and distribution of
illicit substances. As a result of increased
drug enforcement, the number of prisoners
incarcerated for drug-related offenses has
dramatically increased; one in four inmates
in the federal prison system is currently
serving time or awaiting trial for a drug related
offense. Mandatory minimum sentences for drug
offenses range from five to ten years for a
first offense to life in prison for an individual
with two previous drug felonies.
Although Wisconsin
has repealed its own MMDS laws, its residents
are still subject to MMDS under
federal prosecution (Nancy Pandhi MD, 2005).

Causes for Incarceration
Drug-related offenses
40% of incarcerated African American males have drug-related offenses.
Drug sentencing offenses rose from 222 for African American males admitted to prison in 1990 to a high of 1,272 for those admitted in 2003, then declining below 800 in 2009 and below 550 in 2011. African American men in Milwaukee County went from having 4 times as annual admissions for drug-related offenses as white men in the early 1990's to having 11 to 12 times as many in the early 2000's. of the 26,222 Black males incarcerated from 1990 to 2012, 40% or 10,497 were drug related sentences. Compare this to 22 admissions in 1990 then rising to 158 in 2004 for hispanic males and during the same period for white males went from 49 admissions to 128 jailed by 2006 (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).
In April of 2010 the U.S. Census Bureau conducted its decennial(decade) count of Wisconsin residents, it found that 12.8%, 1 in 8 of African American working age men behind bars in state prisons and local jails. This rate of mass incarceration of black males was highest in the country; 32% higher than the second worst state Oklahoma (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).
Incarceration in Wisconsin, What are the Effects?
According to a study, the most critical workforce issues facing Wisconsin are governmental policies that lead to mass incarceration of black males and suspension of driving privileges.
The majority of African American males released form prison are working age.
A driver license is essential for getting to job sites, only about 10% of black males released have a valid driver license.

Additionally, wide disparities in income among racial groups in Wisconsin and the intense levels of segregation in notably Milwaukee, large numbers of ex-offenders released from Wisconsin prisons reside in the poorest neighborhoods which have dramatic job losses. In addition to being a person with a criminal background, and the current labor force, this is a huge challenge (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).
In Wisconsin:
Effects of Incarceration
Having completed their time in prison, often for non-violent crimes and drug-related offenses, to date these men have received little attention in the state's "skills development" and "talent pool" workforce discussions. Ex-offender are a largely ignored source of labor force talent and yet are least likely to be placed into successful sustainable employment due to felony records, time out of the workforce, and lack of education (The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute, 2013).
"Wraparound" programs for first offenders, alternative to mandatory minimum sentences, offering counciling, training, and prevention to re offend
A need for change

Thank you.
Nancy Pandhi MD, R. B. (2005). Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentencing: Is it an effective. POPULATION HEALTH INSTITUTE, 1.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute. (2013). Wisconsin’s Mass Incarceration. Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Wildeman, C. (2012, 04 24). Mass Incarceration. Retrieved from www.sociology.yale.edu: http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document
Wisconsin Briefs. (2002, August). TRUTH-IN-SENTENCING AND CRIMINAL CODE REVISION. Retrieved from http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/pubs/wb/02wb7.pdf: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/pubs/wb/02wb7.pdf

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