Governor Doyle’s Budget Provision to Release Prisoners Makes Wisconsin Unsafe

If there is one issue that gets me more upset on the state budget and that is with Governor Doyle releasing prisoners early all in the name of saving money.  Personally, this is the worse way to use it to balance the state’s finances when Governor Doyle has dishonestly used our taxpayer money for his pet projects.

If Governor Doyle read the newspapers about what happened in Whitefish Bay with the death of Madison Kiefer, and how his dishonest budgeting is putting suburban police departments at disadvantage at fighting drugs like Whitefish Bay this would be one indication that his lax budgeting towards public safety is out of touch with the mainstream in Wisconsin.  Second, during the Defending the American Dream Summit, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said: “When former Corrections Secretary Walter Kelley wanted to release prisoners early, it was then Attorney General Jim Doyle who said no to early release.”  Let’s fast forward to today and Governor Doyle does a complete 180 on this issue.

On this issue, if Governor Doyle runs for a third term, he has basically lost all respect and support from law enforcement because right now law enforcement cannot trust Governor Doyle to keep our families, our communities, and our kids safe.  Wisconsin should be fortunate that we have an Attorney General like JB Van Hollen who has consistently fought the Doyle Administration to keep our communities safe and we also have someone like Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker who speaks straight from the bully pulpit with the truth on this issue.

There should be no excuse that we should use the economy as way to be “soft on crime”.   Keeping our communities and our kids safe should be and always be the number one priority when it comes to our state’s finances.  But, this issue is the issue you are not reading in the mainstream media in  Milwaukee as the Journal Sentinel and the TV stations are failing to use this to connect the Doyle Administration’s dishonest budgeting to why the Whitefish Bay Police Department is at a disadvantage at fighting drugs.  When the public hearings on the state budget come next week if you have the time to come to them, it is time we tell Governor Doyle to start protecting our future, not criminals.

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9 Responses to Governor Doyle’s Budget Provision to Release Prisoners Makes Wisconsin Unsafe

  1. JOy says:

    It is a great proposal and a great plan, everyone is in an uproar for nothing, these inmates with possible eligibility will undergo evaluation prior to early realease, only people with non violent crimes will be released, and think about it people, they are getting out anyway. Doyle’s plan doesn’t change much, they will get out a tad bit earlier and still be under supervision and a stipulation of parole is you mess up, you go back, lighten up and see that you are throwing a fit just to throw one.

    • Terri says:

      Senate looks at OWI laws
      Drunken driving problem addressed in new session
      by Rachel Vesco
      Wednesday, January 28, 2009 02:34

      “Drinking and driving is a crime that causes damage and destroys lives, and it’s a problem that won’t go away without an aggressive legislative intervention,” Sullivan said in a statement Monday.

      To this statement, I would hope that your “Aggressive Legislative Intervention” would mean that, you would force harsher “Rehabilitation” on those of us repeat offenders.

      Because in all reality, I don’t know that it’s rehabilitating to sit in jail or prison. Does that help the real deep seeded problem that is a major one across the nation, Alcoholism? Not an excuse for another very extremely poor choice, that’s just the definition of reality.

      Why are there repeat offenders? Is it because the jail time you gave them wasn’t enough? Or maybe the fines weren’t enough? All the jail or prison time, all the fines imposed, What exactly is that doing to rehabilitate the person committing the crime to help prevent more repeat offenses from happening? Is jail going to improve us when we are back in the community, or do you think rehabilitation would be more of a solution to an end?

      When we get done serving our jail/prison time, how is that rehabilitating us to be productive citizens in our communities and help ensure that there won’t be repeat offenses? Because your sending people to jail instead of rehabilitation centers?

      If it were your mom or dad that was an alcoholic, would you still say the same? Maybe you would want something that would help them to learn to live a sober, healthy life and be the better person that you know they can be, and that they are.

      So when is the intervention going take place? Because not only I, but a lot of other people out here that live with addiction or alcoholism need help, I don’t feel any of the jail time I had to serve helped me. It took away thousands of dollars from my household, that I, as a single mom don’t have. That didn’t help me at all. I’ve raised three sons my myself, one eighteen, my seven yr old, and my twenty two year old who is currently serving our country in Iraq right now. I have a wonderful job and wonderful family. I am a very good person who has made a lot of very poor choices. That doesn’t make me a hardened criminal, or a bad mom. That means I am an Alcoholic and not only have to deal with this for the rest of my life but have to control it, to ensure my children that I won’t ever leave them again for periods at a time because I have made the same mistake again. It means I need help for the rest of my life in maintaining my sobriety. And I can most assure you, that no amount of jail or prison sentence will help any person with maintaining sobriety, or reassuring there won’t be another repeat offense once their back in the community.

      I need an explanation of how the sentence I will end up serving is going to make me come out of this a better person and have tools to succeed in my sobriety. Not all people who make bad choices are bad people. The amount of repeat offenders is rising, an “intervention” has to be made soon or the numbers will just keep rising. Intensive long term rehabilitation programs should be implemented? That’s an idea.

      Just ask yourself, “What if it were my daughter, or my son? Or a family member, perhaps a close friend?”
      The answer to that question, should determine whether or not what you stand for, is your truth

      TM, from Wisconsin

    • j.b. says:

      Do you people know how much money the prison system waste money??? Not just them the state.. throwes computers and copiers out.. if they to to the prison to be tore apart..The flat screen monters,tvs..seam to grow legs and walk out.. Schools if they don’t use all the money in the budget. It gets cut So in stead of putting money back in to fund.. lets take everyone on a vacation.. bet u didnt know they went to denver colorado last year…lets throw more money out the window….

  2. Kyle Maichle says:

    In response to the comment, the majority of prisoners would be released would be drug offenders and also some that have Class C Felonies for sexual assualts too under the plan. We have a lot of variables that can happen if this plan happens

    1. Crime in Milwaukee will increase back to the previous patterns. This is not happening because of Ed Flynn and his aggressive policing strategies.

    2. Suburban and rural police departments will be at a disadvantage fighting the war on drugs and on meth. Perhaps the Madison Kiefer death in Whitefish Bay must serve as a wake-up call if they are serious about the plan. Trust me, no community in out-state Wisconsin will be immune to what happened in the tight-knit, North Shore Suburb if Doyle is serious about this early release plan.

    This is why we are in uprorar, then Governor Doyle should ask? What are the prison guards are willing to sacrifice?

  3. Sonya Smith says:

    I think the early release program is a good idea. Especially since it would apply only to those who are non-violent offenders. So it’s not like it would be putting dangerous criminals back out on the streets. I can speak from first hand experience because I have a loved one who has been incarcerated for DUI’s. And sending them to jail is definelty not solving the real issue of alcohalism. I think people like that would be better off in a treatment progam that would help deal with the drinking problem rather then having them sit in jail for years and then throwing them back out into society and expecting them to deal with it. There are a lot of good programs out there that can help people with addication problems while at the same time teaching them how to cope in society and deal with the addiction.

  4. JOy says:

    The point I am trying to make here is that the opposed opinion seems to stress the supposed danger in Doyle’s plan, but will not stop to see that these people are going to get out anyhow. Out of all the states which took on “truth-in-sentencing” Wisconsin in one of the only ones who has kept it this long, because it simply is not practical. If these individuals can EARN a way out earlier, they will be on parole, seeing an officer weekly or twice monthly, and paying to do so. They will be given a chance. What about the first time small potatoes offenders, who make mistakes while young and then are locked up with rapists, hard core drug dealers, child molestors, do you not think this will be detremental to a person who is regretful and willing to change? We must not judge an entire group of people (inmates) based on the worst within that group.

  5. Scott Ludtke says:


    What’s the fuss? Like JOy stated, these prisoners are getting out anyway! So they get 4 or 5 paltry months shaved off of their sentence… If that saves Wisconsin taxpayers millions of dollars and helps the budget, where is there a problem? Does the writer of this article own a home or property? Be prepared for higher property taxes — even with the passing of this bill. Moreover, for the past 20 years the prison system in Wiscoinsin has been bulging at the seams! The stark reality is that locking people up does not solve the problem, it exacerbates it! Kansas, Minnessota, and a couple of other states nipped the prison overcrowding — as well as crime rates — in the bud when they realized that dealing with and solving the problem works better than setting it asside to rear its ugly head again one day… But people don’t want to hear about or talk about that until that released offender reoffends against them — then its a big deal!
    The institution of prisons originated as a secure place to give anti social individuals a place to have a time, become aware of their negative actions, and turn from their ways — to become penitant; hence the term penitentiary… But some where along the line this doctrine evaporated and prisoners have just been warehoused to keep them out of the mainstreem so people feel safer. The solution is DEALING with the problem, not placing it on the back burner!
    Now I am a proponent of vitims of crime, and I believe that the criminal justice system is a necessary facet of society. Victims have rights, and when people are wrong they deserve to be vindicated. But in an acceptable society, despite the wrong received, victims should also have a desire to see their victimizer restored to a normal state of acceptable behavior as well. It is a fact that 80% of all crimes are a direct result of alcohol and drug abuse — which is defined by our state legislature as a DISEASE! Imagine if the state were to reduce crime by 25% because they implement a plan to address the disease, while rewarding the prisoner in the process… Moreover, implementing a scheme to reward prisoners for good behavior also helps with prison security issues and the safety of the guards who supervise the prisoners.

  6. mam says:

    I myself am at the center of this issue, even with the bill having been passed the judges are still left with discretion. Unfortunately most of the judges are viewing this as a dig on there authority. my wife, whom i love very much never had anything on her record for all of her 35 years. yet when we fell into financial hardship she made a really bad choice to embezzle money from her employer, with that breathing down her neck she was apparently in such a horrible mental state that she chose to burn our house down to collect the insurance to pay back the employer. Now don’t get me wrong here, what she did was horrible and definitely tested our relationship and our vows. but i stand by my wife in with the understanding that in 17 years this was not the woman i knew and i felt she needed to deal with restitution as well as and most importantly she needed mental health help. instead of rehabilitation she received prison time with no regard to her health or the fact that she will earn nothing to help her start on restitution. so now instead of working towards restitution and her mental health along with helping to raise our to children ( 9 and 4 ) she sits doing nothing to better herself or those she so deeply impacted.

    to get to the point, when this bill was implemented i after several attempts was able to convince her attorney to request a hearing on the possibility of early release. at the hearing after all the bs the judge finally said ” it was not my intent for her to get out early and the new bill still gives me discretion even though i see she fits all requirements”. this type of thing happens all the time. i have talked to several inmates with productive lives and small children that have been locked up when they should instead be treated. not all people in prison are horrible people some simply have made 1 horrible decision and the judges and da’s sit on there ivory towers while most likely having problems of there own that were either over looked or never caught and lock people up because of those who wright in and classify every single case with one bad one. the most idiotic name for the system is what they came up with when they called it the Department of Corrections, they are correcting no one. simply put i feel that all should be judged on an individual basis and the people who are relied upon to provide the judge with the proper information should do there job instead of claiming they did you people are messing with others lives!!!!!! the state has made me a single father of 2 young impressionable children and it seems to me a lot like job security is what they shoot for!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT rehabilitation!!

    • Terri says:

      I agree with you 150%!! I emailed Governor Doyle what I had written up at the very top regarding treatment verses jail/prison sentences.

      One would hope that they have enough sense to realize this and help the economy and us whom are afflicted wth the disease of alcoholism or addiction. I have numerous family members from way back to my great great grandparents whom have died of alcoholism or had some kind of addiction. It is in ones genes.

      My counselor said I didn’t stand a chance from the time I picked up my first drink, and here I am twenty some yrs after the fact battling that very same issue.

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