note on paintings : DarRen Morris is the artist here, a prisoner in the WI system and dear friend, he was severely mentally ill and deaf in solitary, always acting out. He used painting as a way to heal and now is mentor to many in there. painting above is titled" animal in a cage",
Painting 2 in latest update is " from playpen to the pen ; from playing on monkey bars to being behind them"
PLEASE HELP FFUP HELP PRISONERS
As most you know, FFUP stands for "Forum for Understanding Prisons". Our basic mission is to give prisoners a voice and our major work has been advocating for prisoners and their families and trying to spread the word that prisoners are our brothers and sisters and need to be treated with compassion and wisdom.
I first wrote this update thinking of FFUP going forward alone- Since then we have connected to representatives of three
other organizations and are meeting regularly to craft a comprehensive program that we hope will transform corrections and help
prisoners throughout their incarceration and release . Once the plan is complete , we will go for a grant and invite other organizations to join us.
The present needs for FFUP's specific piece for this still stand although details will change as our new coalition gathers and shares
ideas and resources . Please help with funds if you can. We hope these funds will help us with present needs as prisoners are coming to us now needing help with their release .
So with baby steps FFUP will begin this new phase but meanwhile our weekly group is crafting a broader plan, where we all connect-
still doing our own thing but with the sense of a division of labor . The larger project is still evolving but here is the general outline of it
1) Create a mechanism where organizations share with each other to create a state wide network of consistent help, where EACH county provides consistent services.
2) Biggest thing is to connect the prisoner with the helping organizations, for now very few know what is available upon release and many are are soon revoked . We envision a statewide mentoring program where those at risk are guided by people who have successfully made the transition from prisoner to contributing community member.
3)Increase the efforts to work with the DOC, fostering a shift from the present punishment only ethic to one that fosters rehabilitation and healing. Learning tools, prisoner to prisoner mentoring etc, -all are needed long before release. As it is now, the prisons have lost so much staff , there is little programming. Prisoners know the changes needed and can help us craft pilot programs, rule and policy changes that will foster the attitude that we are trying to help , that we are not enemies. The consciousness is there- FFUP and others have talked with psychologists and social workers , parole agents and others who are acutely aware of the failings of the DOC. We need to
help “corrections” become unstuck.
IN SUM: We can help the DOC finally fulfill its mission to rehabilitate prisons while keeping the community safe.
We are asking you to help fund FFUP's efforts to begin this process with those prisoners presently knocking at her door. See how money will be used in fundraising update.