Prison overcrowding and justice reform in Wisconsin will be the subject of State Rep. Evan Goyke’s Jan. 21 Turner Hall presentation, Inmate 501: Converging Crises in Wisconsin Adult and Juvenile Prisons.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Milwaukee Turners’ continuing Confronting Mass Incarceration community conversations.

Goyke was an original proponent of the idea, recently adopted by Governor Walker, to close the troubled juvenile Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile prisons and open five smaller, regional juvenile institutions. The existing compound would be repurposed as a badly needed adult treatment center.

But there is so much more that must be done!

Wisconsin spends more on its prison system than it does on higher education.

Reducing the state’s burgeoning prison population would have positive impacts on families, poverty, economic growth and civic fairness. Doing so would require new approaches and innovative ideas from affected communities, including those with first-hand knowledge – inmates, prison staff, and the formerly incarcerated –of prisons in Wisconsin.

Three former inmates – James Cross, Daniel Monge and Minister William E. Harrell – will join Goyke for his presentation and to discuss the issues and needs of the corrections system and how it must be changed to drive down the prison population and reduce the community-to-prison cycle.

Join us.