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Taylor Carmain

November 26, 2017

Intermediate Composition

Prof. Bowley

Wisconsin prisons face a problem of overcrowding in their systems. More inmates are

being held in prisons then should be. This is a problem that Wisconsin is facing because

overcrowding could lead to violence in the system, people being held over non-violent first

offenders, and the cost for Wisconsin taxpayers is at an all time high. This proposal will be

organized in four segments. The first segment will be review of sources. Review of sources will

be the sources that I used, why I used them, and their importance. The second segment is history.

History will be about where the problem started, what it was like before and after, and what are

they key factors that contributed to the history. The third segment is a solution. Solution will

have different ideas and ways that can be used to help the issue. The fourth segment is working

thesis and design. Working thesis and design will be what kind of argument I will be leading for,

for my research project. It will also have what solution I am leaning towards and why. The last

part of the working thesis and design will be kind of layout I will using to show my argument

and cause, and why I chose it.

Review sources are used to look back at the work that was decided to be used to present

an argument. The way that I looked up sources to use for my project was to use the databases

found on CBU’s eLibrary and Ebscohost. I also turned to google because I knew there would be

multiple news outlets from Wisconsin that get their facts straight from the sources from

interviews. The eLibrary and Ebscohost is trustworthy because online databases filter out the

sources that aren’t reliable and keep the ones that are. When it came to google, I was careful to
use news outlets that I’ve heard of before. News outlets could definitely be biased, but the ones I

used facts from the governor and talks about bills and laws, also number facts. The most

important sources I believe that I chose would be the sources used from the news outlets because

they are digging straight into the problem, and they are apart of the community that pays for the

prisons around Wisconsin.

The history of the problem can help solve the problem, getting down to what the real

cause was for overcrowding in the Wisconsin system. The history section will start from the year

of 2006 because that’s where most of my data was found at the very beginning. I will also be

talking about the very beginning of the system as well because it can lead to where the problem

started in 2006. Before the problem of overcrowding in 2006, the Wisconsin Prisons where

holding a steady growth of inmates. Because of this steady growth, the system was holding first

time offenders longer than what people thought they should be held for, leading it over 33% of

the inmates. There is now an estimate in 2019, the system will have 23 thousand inmates. The

sources that I will be using for this history section are urban Milwaukee, wisconsin gov

document, and usnews. The urban Milwaukee source is useful because it gives a great insight to

different statistics used to show the difference in then vs. now in the Wisconsin prison system.

The Wisconsin gov document is a good source because it’s a timeline of the very beginning to

the year 2002. The usnews is a good source because it comes directly from a Wisconsin news

outlet. When it comes to doing more research, I would like to look up more sources as much as

possible to see if I could find anything new rather than just the same statistics, numbers, and


When it comes to a problem as big as overcrowding, there are many solutions that have

been brought up by residents, by direct coordinators, and the governor. One of the biggest
solutions that is being debated by Wisconsin is the time that people spend in the prisons. Many

people including residents and direct coordinators are pushing towards non-violent first offense

getting out sooner than normal to leave room for people who are new or that need to stay in

longest. Many of these non-violent first offences have to deal with some type of ideal around

drugs. They want to tackle this issue by creating rehabilitation centers. Another solution that is

being debated is by spending 40 million to expand contracts to allow more room for housing

inmates. This way would still be keeping all inmates, but adding building to house them all.

These sources are credible because these ways of solving the problem are coming from people

who work within in the systems and see the problem first hand. I do believe that many people are

opposed to these solutions because the 40 million would have to come from taxpayers, leaving

many Wisconsin people angry. The other way people would think they wouldn’t learn the lesson,

many would see drug related incidences back on the streets. I still need to research opposing

arguments for this to backup what I believe would happen.

My working thesis for this statement would be creating rehabilitation places for people

who first time offenders, nonviolent, and for people who just need a push in the right direction. I

believe that this is the way to go because it’s going to help inmates reestablish a respected life

after getting out. They will learn skills, and they will be taken seriously by people they are trying

to get hired from, getting a place to live, etc. I would like to research a place that has already

done this for inmates so I can compare my argument to show that it is a good idea. I will like to

show my argument in a website layout because I can easily add in links, pictures, captions, and

videos on separate pages to keep it organized but also can help it flow nicely together. Another

awesome thing that a website does is it allows others to stumble upon it to see my argument.

Working Bibliography
Corley, Cheryl. "Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S." NPR. NPR, 03 Oct. 2013.

Web. 19 Nov. 2017.

In the article Wisconsin Prisons Incarcerate Most Black Men In U.S written by Cheryl

Corley, it talks about the basic but important facts about the prisons in wisconsin and their

inmate count for black men. Wisconsin is the highest population for black men incarcerated due

to drug offenses. It is nearly double the country's rate, leading by 13%. It spiked during the years

2000-2008. 40% of men that are locked up are locked up for low-level drug offenses.

This article is important to the subject because it gives a clear example of what one of the many

problems that Wisconsin prisons face and even towards certain people. It’s credible because it’s

becoming from the Wisconsin system itself.

Davies, Emily. "7 Investigates: Jail Overcrowding." WSAW - Content - News. N.p., 3 July 2017. Web.

19 Nov. 2017.

This article talks about a specific County jail in Marathon County, Wisconsin. This jail

has been overcrowded for 20 years. It has a total of 400 inmates but only has enough to house

250. They did have an expansion in the year 2000, but before they started that, it was over

crowded. This jail has housed inmates in other facilities, anywhere between 100-200 but that cost

is $50 daily for each individual inmate. In this jail 85% of cases are due to drugs, and more

serious cases lead to more jail time.

This source is important because it shows the differences between what people are in the system

for and it breaks it down by percentages and the years, which will also help with the history

portion. This source is credible because it’s coming from Wisconsin system itself.
Marley, Patrick. "Wisconsin's Rising Prison Population Poses Budget Challenges." Milwaukee Journal

Sentinel. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 Mar. 2017. Web. 19 Nov. 2017.

This article talks about the specific problem that has come with overcrowded inmates in

Wisconsin, the budget crisis. According to the article, the state of Wisconsin can be paying over

2 billion dollars if Gov. Scott Walker assumptions are wrong. Wisconsin Prisons alone hold

more than twenty-two thousand adult inmates. If their calculations are correct, prisons could be

holding about 1,200 more inmates in each place by the year 2019. Wisconsin prisons were

designed to only hold 16,300 adults but they are now housing 7,000 times that.

This source is important because it’s talking about who the current leader is that can initially help

the problem at hand and what needs to be done about. This is credible because it’s using relevant

information and coming from the wisconsin system itself.

Alliance, Wisconsin Taxpayers. "WisTax: State Prison Population Rising Again." Urban Milwaukee.

N.p., 4 May 2017. Web. 19 Nov. 2017.

In this article, it talks about the population rising again, giving an insight as how it was

before vs. now. The number of inmates has rose from 3.4% from 2013-2016 after a decline of

3.2% three years previous to that. In 2006 inmates under the age of 29 was about 33% of

inmates. Inmates serving five or more years from 2006 was around 36%. Nearly a third of

correction officials were offenders that were coming off from violating rules and not being good

This source is important because it’s showing the drastic changes that the wisconsin prisons have

seen over the course of the years. It is credible because its came from the wisconsin system itself.

Department of Corrections.

"Department History." DOC Department History. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2017.

This sight gives a detailed timeline of the corrections department’s history from the very

beginning to 2002.

This source is important because it gives an exact layout of where what exactly happened from

the time it came about to 2002. This is credible because it came from a wisconsin system itself.

U.S.News. "Wisconsin Prison Population Edging Toward New Record." N.p., 1 May 2017. Web.

In this article written by a Wisconsin news article it goes into talking about how prisons are

reaching a new record high from the past. According to this article, by June 2019 Wisconsin will

have a total of over 23 thousand inmates. The inmate population was at a steady growth until

2008 where they started to see drastic changes. It is expected to cost wisconsin over 1.1 billion in

the next two years.

This source is important because it gives people a reality check of what Wisconsin is looking like

in the system if they keep up the ways that they are going and not change it. It is credible

because it came from wisconsin system itself.

Mills, Emily. "Emily's Post: Wisconsin's Overcrowded Prisons Aren't Rehabilitating Inmates." Isthmus |

Madison, Wisconsin. N.p., 04 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Nov. 2017.

In this article, Wisconsin’s Overcrowded Prisons Aren’t Rehabilitating Inmates.” By Emily

Mills, she talks about how they should create jobs instead of trying to make more beds. Mills

talks about how they need to create solid plan that would release non-violent offenders earlier.

She would go about that way by with what Gov. Doyle had attempted to do. Which was a pass of

Wisconsin Act 28. It would have created a system that would have released inmates that needed

to go, resulting in less crowded.

This source was important for me to use because this person gave great detail about the things

that Wisconsin has tried to push and is trying to push for helping with the overcrowded issue.

She mentions things in this article of hers that I didn’t know existed. This article is credible

because she gives credit to where credit is due and links to places that are legit websites to

Wisconsin.gov places.

WI Budget Project. "With Wisconsin Prisons Overcrowded, Officials Want to Pay More to Counties to

House State Prisoners." Daily Kos. N.p., 3 Oct. 2016. Web. 19 Nov. 2017.

In this article, With Wisconsin Prisons Overcrowded, Officials want to Pay More to Counties

to House State Prisoners by the Daily Kos, it talks about how the department of corrections gave

the idea of spending 40 million to expand contracts to allow more room to house state inmates.

They projected this as a program that would allow additional projected population.

This article was important for me to because it brought insight for the history and how it can be

helped. It is credible because it came from a wisconsin system itself.

State Bar of Wisconsin. "Mar 01, 2015." WisBar. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2017.
In this article by the State Bar of Wisconsin, It talks about how they want to do early release for

the good behaved inmates. They call this good time credits. They want to bring these good time

credits back because of the booming rates the Wisconsin prisons have been facing with inmate


This source was important for me to use because it gave great insight on a way that they can

control the overcrowding issue. This is a credible source because it came from a wisconsin

system itself.