Attendees at the December 14 JONAH Press Conference learned first hand how harmful crimeless revocation can be on individuals, families, and communities.
David Liners, Executive Director of WISDOM, JONAH’s parent organization, explained that crimeless revocation places people on parole or probation in jail without their having broken any additional laws. A simple traffic ticket can result in incarceration. Futhermore, people on parole or probation are often held in jail for as much as 3 months while their revocation status is being determined. During that time, they may lose their job and their housing even if no revocation occurs.
David also provided some Wisconsin statistics related to crimeless revocation.
– In 2015, 2,954 Wisconsites were put in prison without having committed any additional crimes. They stayed there an average of 1.5 years.
– This incarceration cost Wisconsin taxpayers $147 million.
– Approximately 3,000 children had a parent imprisoned under crimeless revocation.
In addition, people on supervison suffer from chronic stress which leads to many other poor health conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. Lucas, a Master’s degree student, shared his experiences in seeking housing in the city where he wished to attend school. After finding an apartment, he needed permission to live there from his parole officer who had to contact a parole officer in the city where Lucas was moving. By the time all that occurred, the apartment had been rented to someone else. Of course, this was not only frustrating for Lucas but also highly stressful. It is difficult to turn one’s life in a positive direction when ordinary tasks, like renting an apartment, become so difficult.