FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2022
CONTACT: Missy Zombor
Excessive call fees exploit families of incarcerated individuals and create dangerous barriers to successful reentry
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee DSA announces its support of a resolution that would end the practice of charging residents of Milwaukee County’s correctional facilities for voice and video calls.
The Milwaukee County Board will be voting on the resolution at the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
Milwaukee DSA calls on the Milwaukee County Board to end the Sheriff Clarke-era practice that banned visitation, financially extorts the families of residents at Milwaukee County’s correctional facilities and prevents conditions needed for successful reentry.
Studies have shown that communication with family improves employment and successful parole outcomes after release. Because advocating for communication equity for incarcerated folks reduces recidivism, we view this resolution as a real way to make Milwaukee County safer.
Every year Milwaukee County families are spending $5.1 million on the phone and video calls to residents in the jail, averaging $1,617 per family.
“This resolution will have a huge impact on people incarcerated in Milwaukee County. When people are incarcerated, they desperately want to speak to their loved ones. Having access to social support through no-cost video and phone calls will be transformative for the people in these facilities. It will allow them to connect to resources on the outside, maintain relationships with their friends and family, and will better prepare them for re-entry into the community,” said Emily Munoz, co-chair of Milwaukee DSA’s Abolition Working Group. “While DSA envisions a future without these facilities, one where our community’s needs are met and true public safety is prioritized, this resolution will reduce harm.”
The resolution was authored by County Supervisor Ryan Clancy and co-sponsored by County Supervisors Steven Shea, Jason Haas, and Priscilla Coggs-Jones.
To schedule a media interview, please contact Missy Zombor at email@example.com or 262-894-5920.