A large number of people are incarcerated each year for revocation, a criminal offense that occurs when someone is released from prison and breaks the rules of their supervision. Estimates suggest that across the U.S., half of the people in jails and more than one-third of the people entering prison are locked up for a revocation. In Wisconsin, the Department of Corrections put about 3,000 people in prison in 2015 alone for a “revocation without a new offense,” meaning there was not a new criminal conviction. These people will serve an average of 1.5 years in prison without being convicted of a new crime and cost Wisconsin $147.5 million dollars in the process.
A new research report by Human Impact Partners, WISDOM, and Ex-Prisoners Organizing describes the health impacts of revocation in Wisconsin, and offers a number of recommendations to bring costs down and make the system more equitable. Not only is revocation linked to adverse health outcomes, it also has a disproportionate effect on our communities of color. Forty percent of people put in jail for a revocation identify as black, despite the fact that only 6.6 percent of Wisconsin identifies as black.
WCCF continues to be concerned about the negative health impacts associated with incarceration and the disproportionate effect that the criminal justice system has on our communities of color. We support continued efforts to make our criminal justice system more equitable for all, and commend the efforts put into releasing this report.