Voices From Inside: Wisconsin Prisoners Speak OUT

Get Your Copy Today!

Voices From Inside

“Voices From Inside:  Wisconsin Prisoners Speak Out” is now available.  The book contains excerpts from some of the hundreds of letters WISDOM has received from inmates since the start of the 11×15 campaign.  The letters touch upon a variety of themes, and each of them reminds us that prisoners are human beings with hopes, dreams, regrets and questions.  The letters are accompanied by reflections from judges, bishops, pastors and others, as well as important facts about the criminal justice system.

Books can be obtained from any local WISDOM group or from the WISDOM office — 3195 S. Superior St., #310, Milwaukee, WI 53207.  A $5 donation per book is suggested.

*Postponed* Catch MOSES on WORT 89.9 FM Tuesday, January 14!

*Due to circumstances beyond our control, the MOSES segment will be postponed, likely to next Tuesday.*

The next episode (#5) in the MOSES radio series about justice in Wisconsin will air this coming Tuesday, January 14, during the In Our Back Yard show at 6:30 PM on WORT 89.9 FM in Madison.

Fawn Bilgere will introduce Dr. Michael Connelly, a national authority on criminal justice reform. You can listen to it online at either live streamed or go to the Archives section and look it up by name of the show (In Our Back Yard) and date, starting about one hour after it has aired.

WISDOM Leadership Training January 11

David Liners, Executive Director of WISDOM, will be providing an exciting training on Saturday, January 11 from 9am – noon at Lake Edge Lutheran Church at 4032 Monona Drive (just past the Cottage Grove intersection if you’re coming from the west; PARK IN BACK OF THE CHURCH).
The training is FREE and will focus on skills we need as individuals and as congregational members to be effective leaders for the crucial policy changes we seek in Wisconsin’s criminal justice system.
Lake Edge has graciously offered to provide beverages, including coffee and tea. WISDOM’s trainings are interactive and fun and always receive very positive reviews.
The training is especially important for new MOSES members, whether individuals or congregations, or those just curious about MOSES.  If you know of any congregation considering joining MOSES, or who could benefit from exposure to our fine organization, please invite them to send representatives. (If you know of new people committed to attending, please send me an email of approximate numbers.)

Following the training, we will have a brown bag lunch hour (everyone to bring own sack lunch) at noon where we will open the floor to invite your thoughts and ideas about MOSES’ coming year– suggested changes in process or substance, what you appreciate about MOSES, how we could do better, etc.  Somewhere in there we may need to fit in 10-15 minutes of reporting MOSES news.  Voting members are urged to attend this hour; others are warmly welcome to participate.
Happy New Year to all,
Carol Rubin, President, MOSES

Meeting with Governor Walker and What You Can Do Now

WISDOM leaders met with Governor Walker’s Office

About 100 WISDOM leaders from across Wisconsin and allied groups held a rally and press conference at graceEpiscopal Church in Madison.  Following this meeting the group headed over to meet with Governor Walker’s office.

The meting with the Governor’s office was regarding Old Law prisoners.  The Old Law refers to men and women that were sentenced under policies that expected prisoners to demonstrate good behavior and complete program conditions to earn an early release.  When the new Truth in Sentencing policy came into effect, law mandated that time sentenced equal time served and time being incarcerated was adjusted to reflect this policy.  It is estimated that there are thousands of men and women that are stuck between these two policies that have no way to earn release through parole.

A delegation of 8 WISDOM leaders including Christian, Muslim, and Islamic religious leaders met for an hour with Waylon Hurlburt the Senior Policy Analyst to the governor.   Hurlburt said the Governor had not known about this issue but added that Walker has interest and has promised a meeting before the end of January to consider and respond to our asks to:

  1. Review the cases of each prisoner that was sentenced under the Old Law
  2. Direct the Parole Commission and the Department of Corrections to work together to create a path to parole for these men and women
  3. Call for a study and issue a public report to offer transparency to the number of prisoners this would impact and how the issue would be resolved


Call Governor Walker’s office and thank him for the meeting and let him know that you look forward to a positive response in the meeting with WISDOM next month.  Governor Walker’s phone number is (608) 266-1212.

Join us for MOSES First Annual Celebration!

To purchase your ticket, contact Bev at 608-244-2115 or email

111613MOSES banquet

Monthly Meeting September 7th at Fountain of Life Church

We hope to see you Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 10am for our monthly meeting.
Because there is a UW football game that morning, parking near our usual meeting spot will be virtually non-existent!  Instead the meeting will be held at:
Fountain of Life Churchfile000366660229
633 W. Badger Rd.
Madison WI  53713

Fountain of Life is about 2 blocks east of Park Street.  Badger is the last cross street on Park St. before the beltline.

The October monthly meeting will be the first Saturday in October (10/5) back at First Congregational at 10am.

July Monthly Meeting THIS Saturday, July 13, 2013

We hope to see you THIS Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 10am for our monthly meeting.
Due to a scheduling conflict, we will meet at
Fountain of Life church
633 W. Badger Rd.
Madison WI  53713

Fountain of Life is about 2 blocks west of Park Street.  Badger is the last cross street on Park St. before the beltline.

Monthly meetings are generally held the first Saturday of each month at First Congregational Church.  The date was changed due to the 4th of July holiday and the location was changed due to a scheduling conflict.

The August monthly meeting with be the first Saturday in August, the 3rd, back at First Congregational at 10am.

Time Change for May Monthly Meeting

From Carol Rubin, Co-Chair, MOSES

file000298225618Our monthly meeting is THIS Saturday  from 9:00 a.m. and goes until 1:00 p.m. (unlike our usual meeting which is 10 till noon). It is at our usual location at First Congregational Church at 1609 University Avenue, in the Fellowship Hall in the basement. We will begin with some important developments in the 11×15 Campaign for about 30 minutes, and then move into our special meeting on MOSES’ organization and governance which will put MOSES on solid ground for future stability and effectiveness.
There will be coffee and donuts, as well as sandwiches for our lunch break.
See you at 9:00 on Saturday, May 4th.


MOSES/Wisdom Members Testify before the Joint Committee on Finance

Summary by John Stedman, JONAH

MOSES team revising their comments before hearing begins

MOSES team revising their comments before hearing begins

About 12 powerful leaders from MOSES / Wisdom testified before the Joint Committee on Finance on April 10, 2013.  Sadly, bad weather forced the NAOMI contingent to cancel their trip.  Each leader powerfully presented TAD’s from a different perspective, but they held in common the refrain “Invest in What Works” and  “TAD’s Work!”.  Carol Rubin did an excellent job helping her co-leaders be prepared.

The venue for the proceedings was Kalahari Resort and we were told that this was the first time JFC ever conducted hearings in Wisconsin Dells.  The room was set up for about 500 and at the opening of the Hearings most chairs were filled.

JFC co-chair, Senator Darling, conducted the hearings efficiently – holding speakers to their two minutes of allotted time.  Early testimony was mostly from three broad constituencies: Circus World, WI Public Schools, and Wisdom/MOSES.  Testimony from the first two groups was from professionals and administrative staff.  MOSES was distinguished by the power of their testimony and the fact that it was leader not staff driven.

Joan Duerst being interviewed after testimony by NBC News.

Joan Duerst being interviewed after testimony by NBC News.

Immediately following her testimony Sister Joan was sought ought by TV 15 (NBC) for an interview.

Also immediately following the Hearing, Senator Wirch sought us out and commended everyone for their terrific testimony.  He encouraged us to continue to push TAD’s.  He said the Wisdom presence at hearings in Greendale, Green Bay and Wisconsin Dells was very definitely “Having an impact”.  He hoped we would be in Baldwin and I assured him we would be there.  He said that while he felt we would not get all we asked for, he felt it likely we would see some increased funding for Drug Courts and Veterans Courts.

MOSES members waiting to testify.

MOSES members waiting to testify.

I was very proud to be associated with Wisdom and all the MOSES leaders.

How to Build a Strong Congregational Justice Team

MOSES is offering an interactive, 2-part leadership opportunity for member congregations and others who are interested in MOSES. The training will be led by WISDOM state Director David Liners.

Saturday, March 23, 2013 
9:00 am – Noon
First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Drive, Madison
Atrium Auditorium

Congregations are encouraged to bring a group of members interested in building a strong core team within their congregation.
The morning will include:

One-on-One Training
Individual one-on-one conversations are vital to finding out what issues directly concern congregation and community members and make the work of justice more central to the life of the church and community. A one-on-one listening campaign will strengthen the bonds of community in the congregation, and will build a stronger foundation for our justice work through MOSES. We will practice simple skills, disciplines and attitudes that allow the listener to hear and honor the stories, passions, and experiences in a person’s life, and provide a basis for future dialogue and collaboration.

Core Team Training
Learn how to build and/or strengthen a core group of leaders in your congregation to respond to the justice issues that are important to your congregation and the larger community. This portion of the training will provide ideas, processes and procedures needed to build strong, effective
teams that people want to join!

For more information or to RSVP, contact: Lisa Munro at
If you plan to attend an RSVP is appreciated, but not required.