incarceration

Bart Everson / Wikimedia

More than 2 million people are currently imprisoned in the U.S. Although the country has just 4% of the world's population, it accounts for a quarter of the world's prison population.

So, how did the country get to this place? People point to different pieces of legislation as the main cause for mass incarceration. But researcher Reggie Jackson says it's the result of a complex web of laws and policy decisions that created this issue.

Portrait Society Gallery

Art and the people who make it are often found on the margins of society. In the case of painter M. Winston, those margins include a cell and guards. Winston is incarcerated, and it was just an accident that his work — miniature abstract paintings — was discovered.

Allison Dikanovic / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Editor’s note from Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service: To protect the privacy of the children included in this story, Camp Reunite requested that NNS only use first names for campers.

Bridget Davis eagerly waved one hand in the air and wiped a tear from her eye with the other one as a yellow school bus pulled up in front of Taycheedah Correctional Institution. Her son Lawson was on the bus, and the last time she saw him was more than a year ago, when she dropped him off at school.

“I can’t wait to see him,” she said.

Teran Powell

Calling for changes in the Department of Corrections, hundreds of people from across Wisconsin marched at the state Capitol Tuesday morning. Groups are upset about several initiatives that Gov. Tony Evers has purposed in his budget.

The "Day of Action" is sponsored by the prison reform group WISDOM, which is one of the groups that make up the #CloseMSDF coalition

Eddie Herena

Visual artist Nigel Poor has spent years offering us a glimpse of life behind bars. Poor is not incarcerated, but she has worked with people inside California’s San Quentin Prison to tell the stories of everyday life.  Among the ways she’s done that is through curating a remarkable group of large-format photographs taken over the years by prison staff — some of which are on exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Teran Powell

Milwaukee's 53206 ZIP code incarcerates the highest rate of African-American men in the United States — a statistic that disproportionately affects African-American families that live in those neighborhoods. 

Those numbers personally affected Beverly and Baron Walker’s family — Baron Walker was incarcerated for more than 20 years.

photos.com

Former Wisconsin Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson has a new book out, "Tommy: My Journey of a Lifetime." On Wednesday, he spoke about the book, and other aspects of his tenure, at the Marquette Law School's event On the Issues with host Mike Gousha.

Gousha spoke with the former governor about his major regret from his term in office: the prison boom.

Thompson served as governor from 1987 to 2001. He presided over the largest expansion of the state's prison system and opened its toughest prison: Supermax in Boscobel, Wis.

Re-entry into society after incarceration can be hard.

It might not be easy to land a job, and sometimes, it's even harder to keep one.  One company is trying to change that for some of its workers.

Workers for Cedarburg-based Harrigan Solutions are in the business of keeping industrial machines running.

The company has groups of workers they call “crews” stationed and providing machine maintenance at corporations around southeastern Wisconsin.

And members of one of Harrigan's crews all have something in common: they've been incarcerated.

Eddie Herena

There are a lot of depictions in popular culture of prison life such as shows like Orange Is the New Black or movies like The Shawshank Redemption. However, pop culture gets some things right and many others wrong. 

Courtesy of Preshes Johnson

Getting your life on track after being convicted of a crime -- or multiple crimes -- can be a daunting task. Preshes Johnson, a single mom of three children, has bucked the odds. She was discharged from probation early on a felony drug conviction, and has succeeded in obtaining a degree and landing a job in industrial maintenance.

Preshes' story is one of persistence, and of people coming together to give support, but she has certainly been through a lot.

New Report Explores Wisconsin's 'Atypical' Expungement Law

Jun 7, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Expungement is the ability to clear a criminal record or to seal it from public access without a court order. Simply put, it’s a way to be able to move on from a past conviction. 

“The conviction is sort of treated as if it never happened when it is expunged,” says Joe Peterangelo, a senior researcher at the Wisconsin Policy Forum. “The file still exists, but it is not allowed for public access.”

Maayan Silver

Getting out of prison and facing the world can be tough. Community, religious and government organizations try to fill in the gaps by offering help with job training and housing, or transportation and mental health counseling. But still, some people fall through the cracks.

A report earlier this year from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance estimated that Wisconsin’s prison population will hit a record level by 2019.  The number of inmates had fallen somewhat since it reached its high point of over 23,000 a decade ago, but has risen again in recent years.  The nonpartisan group says harsher penalties are largely to blame.

Tracy King, fotolia

Mandatory minimum prison sentencing have been a hot topic as of late amongst Wisconsin lawmakers.

Maayan Silver

Behind the locked doors of the Milwaukee County House of Correction for two hour-long classes every week, an unlikely message emanates.

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