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Four Charts that Show the Harm of Racial Disparities in Wisconsin’s Prisons

November 16, 2021 — Wisconsin’s use of incarceration to lock up a staggering share of its population of color inflicts serious harm on individuals and communities. New figures show that the racial disparities in Wisconsin’s incarceration rates far exceed disparities at the national level, which themselves are stark. The result is a system that deepens the divide between Whites and people of color, and uses public resources to do so.

Opportunity Wasted: Legislature Removes Nearly All Items Promoting Racial Equity from the State Budget

July 2021 — On many different indicators, Wisconsin is at or very near the top in terms of the severity of racial inequities, and those gaps are holding back our state. Governor Evers’ budget contained a broad range of measures aimed at reducing the disparities in Wisconsin. However, the Republican-controlled legislature scrapped his budget and started fresh, and their budget removed almost all of the Governor’s initiatives to create a more level playing field for people of color in our state. 

Some Local Governments Want to Rethink How Police Services are Delivered. This Bill Would Make that Harder.

September 10, 2020 — A Wisconsin Republican Senator has proposed legislation that would prohibit cities and other local governments from saving money by reducing the amount of money they spend on police staffing. This bill would block innovation in how communities address policing, require local governments to double down on budget cuts in other areas of local services, and disenfranchise people of color by allowing predominantly white state lawmakers to overrule the choices made by local government officials in communities of color. 

Law Enforcement is the Single Biggest Cost for Local Governments in Wisconsin

July 10, 2020 — Local government spending on law enforcement has significantly increased over the past two decades in Wisconsin, becoming the single biggest category of local spending. Black community leaders have called on policymakers to put that money to better use, shifting resources away from law enforcement and towards mental health services, housing, job assistance, and other services that strengthen communities.