prisoner support fund

$2,913 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 22 months
Peggy Swan
for forumforunderstandingprisons
 BLUE RIVER, WI

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 have been doing this work for 17 plus years and it is both heartbreaking and incredibly rewarding, The glue to my work and how I keep going is my corresponding to prisoners. Our system is corrupt to the core and because I get letters on all of it, FFUP has a unique comprehensive view. We are getting help these days and real change is possible. Please help - FFUP does this work on a shoestring-no salaries, no expense accounts- your donations will be well used and much appreciated.
Here's More:
          We are low on funds at a time when our work is most needed. Good things are happening. The myriad little prison awareness organizations are beginning to come together and discuss a workable division of labor. Here is a taste of what we are doing. More at www.prisonforum.org., including our latest newsletter.
          1)Help with support for prisoners stuck in solitary confinement and those stranded without friends or families. A wonderful addition is a young woman, Bernadette. She has taken charge of seeing that those most in need get the nurturing they need, so they get through their prison ordeal with psyches intact. It always amazes me how little it takes on the part of us on the outside to be that light for prisoners in distress. “Someone cares... someone cares”. It makes all the difference. She actively finds people willing to write to prisoners and writes to some prisoners herself.
We also have a friend in Holland, Jessica, who is sending FFUP via email what she calls “day brighteners”- a few pages of cheerful, nurturing cartoons, articles, etc. that we send to the prisoners in need on a regular basis. She also corresponds to many.
         2)Mentoring program: FFUP is working with EXPO (Ex-Prisoners Organizing) in order to start a mentoring program between those who have found their way through the daunting obstacle course of prison release and the young TIS inmates who are literally dumped back into their old neighborhoods with very few resources and no training or treatment while in prison.
           3)Stamps to prisoners program is stretched to limit, funds needed- I cannot stress enough how important it is for rehabilitation that the prisoner is able to reach out and probably the most helpful thing FFUP does is this stamp program. About 5 years ago we started a regular monthly stamps program for indigent prisoners- they had to send their account statement proving indigence and they would receive 5 embossed envelopes and a pad of paper a month. The DOC (Department of Corrections) approves only a few vendors and they are expensive so 5 embossed envelopes costs $3.15, a writing pad of 50 pages is $2.00. Since we started, the DOC has cut off their program of giving indigent inmates in Seg (solitary) one stamp a week and also this year has been whole hog taking money from inmates, misinterpreting an act passed by the legislature (see our web for more: www.prisonforum.org). At any rate the requests for those 5 stamps a month have skyrocketed. We send the 5 stamped envelopes only and not the paper, and we are stretching out the time between sending stamps to compensate.
There is little we can say to help you, the public understand the need here. There is a long period of “shock and awe” for anyone who starts this work, for our prison system is toxic and corrupt to the core. These stamps give hope to many.
               4)Litigation is the way prisoners keep sane and positive. Besides, lawsuits by prisoners being virtually the only moving object in the prison world, learning the law is the one tool prisoner have to stay sane. Books are almost impossible to get but the prison cannot legally stop legal work. AND unknown to many out here, many wins in prison reform were started by prisoners and the suits were written by prisoners. Because only a lawyer can represent a class action, the lawyer ends up representing the class using the case the prisoner wrote. Postage and materials need for printing are always short here, and especially needed is postage for internet downloads of guides.
         5)FFUP CLASS ACTIONS. With prisoner litigator help, FFUP has been putting together a class action on mentally ill and solitary confinement in all its forms. We have been stymied by the fact that FFUP mail is read by the DOC and retaliation is real against the people we work with. Good news is that we now have a litigator on the outside who knows the prison scene and will work with FFUP. This is a big breakthrough and we can leap ahead. I am not a lawyer, my function generally is in gathering cases and as a resource person.
              6)

We are also supporting many individual cases, and the two most important ones may change a lot. One man suing the DOC after 27 years in solitary: He is after big changes and the case is in settlement. The other one we are supporting (Both cases we support with funds and contacts and downloads) is on the poor health care in prison and although this is about one prisoner, we hope to expand it to a class action. Even as an individual case, it will have far-reaching effects. For example, this will make sure that only nurses can pass out meds. As it is now, untrained guards wreak havoc with the prisoners’ meds.

This is a glance at what we do- please support this effort and thanks much for reading this.
Peg Swan
FFUP Founder, 608-536-3993; pgswan3@aol.com

+ Read More
Hello! I just wrote an update and it got eaten so will try again . Here is link to a blurb with specific needs. Try copying and pasting this:
https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/gofundme-plea-for-august-15th-2018.pdf

Good news on our solitary suit- looks like it will go forward as a multi plaintiff suit one way or another, We got the Honorable Barbara Crabb as judge and she has already filed two orders so it is moving fast. Lots of work ahead- we hope some healing- complaint and exhibits and orders on our web: www,prisonforum.org

A big time of organizing for FFUP. It is time because the activist community now understands the importance of direct contact with prisoners, because the need and workload has become ridiculously more than one person can do, and because I am old and winding down. We will be forming a coalition (so far EXPO , IWOC and FFUP) this month with goal to support each other and keep mutually informed with an eye to getting a real division of labor going so we can have enough clout to get the work done.

One of the things I hope we all connect on is reducing prison population through honest parole and ending of revocations without new felonies. To get past public hysteria about prisoners will be our challenge.

Funds much needed and I put details in link above and will also post on web_www.prisonforum.org.

But basically 1) support for prisoner litigators- case lookups, stamps, guides, mailing , copying- a must, for the system is closing in and it becomes harder and harder for prisoners to get access to the court. Their litigation is the only way we can go forward at this time.
2) Stamp program- one pad of paper and 5 stamps a month-has quadrupled in requests and we will require an account statement every three months to verify indigency and will help as we have funds.
3) Fans to the most vulnerable- incredible conditions especially in the solitary cells in these days of climate change. Also for those with asthma. Some description in blurb in link above. Also a few radios and tvs for some that really need them. Trashing of cells by guards and breaking electronics is on the uptick as retaliation for litigation and guard frustration takes over.
4) Cory Gilmore asks for funds to take college courses ( 2) and will crochet thankyou gifts to your specifcations and has some ready made. Let me know if you are interested in this by email.

Newsletter will go out soon. Printer died half way into printer so it is cobbled and outdated but will go by paper to prisoners at end of week. Online copy here : https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/ffup-newsl-online-8-15-18.pdf
and on web: www,prisonforum.org

feel free to call or email:pgswan3@aol.com/608-536-3883
+ Read More
Well, we finally did it!! our lawsuit against over use and abuse of solitary confinement is in!!!Sent Monday(6 25 18) by priority mail . I started this work because of this issue and the opening of the Boscobel Supermax so you can say this has been an 18 year project. Much learning and I have been guided the whole way by prisoner litigators dedicated to upending this corrupted system.

I put the suit and all it accoutrements on our blog: www.prisonforum.org-it's either the first or second post.
Thanks for all your support and we trundle on- Peg

peg swan
Founder, Forum for Understanding Prisons (FFUP)
29632 Wild Rose Drive; Blue River, WI 53518
608-536-3993/pgswan@aol.com
+ Read More
Big Doins' in anxious times. FFUP has been around long enough that we are trusted with more than is possible without help. So here I am again asking for your donations. First I would like to thank all who have donated in the past- your response has been generous and I am awed and grateful- and well aware of the financial and emotional stress for everyone these days. I ask you to do only what you are comfortable with. The need is infinite and we do what we can.

Some of this is exciting:
1) 400$ filing fee for suit to end overuse and abuse of solitary confinement and put rehabilitation back into the WI DOC.
Prisoner litigators and I have finally got it together enough to get our case against long term solitary confinement nearly ready to go. It has been a long hard learn, for my mail is closely monitored and contacts are insecure, retaliation rife. But again trust and love wins out and we will do this. I will be posting the complaint in rough draft soon and will give links to more details of the struggles going on. The filing fee is 400 dollars. It is a huge work, long overdue.

2) $500 Tuition for 3 college courses for DarRen Morris
Another big one is funding three college courses for an inmate who was waived into court as a juvenile and ended with a life sentence for a killing he did while incredibly insane and delusional. This is a man I first wrote when he was in solitary and not making it - He is deaf and hears voices and could not tolerate the usual guard behavior, spending most his time in the worst conditions the prison had to offer. Through art and friendship and his own incredible self he has come through a mature and sane man and fine artist. He still sits with a life sentence however and though I do believe we will eventually as a society find our soul again and not need eternal revenge, this man needs these college courses to keep himself growing and learning. His name is DarRen Morris and here are links to his blog –his story and art: https://darrenmorrisartist.blogspot.com/ We are working with a member of MUM in this.

3) We would also like to be more consistent in helping prisoners who are struggling to keep sane in solitary. Radios can be a life saver in there- the lowest price for one (must come through prison vendor)is around 19 dollars . Books are also very important and good books rare as they must be bought new and must come with paper receipt ( which leaves out most internet books ). These seem like small items but it is amazing what a little drop of caring can do to awaken hope in these entombed people.

4)Finally, In my years in this work I have found that the people who do not go nuts in long term solitary are those who learn the law- it keeps the brain active and most of all, it allows the prisoner to vent his or her anger and frustration in a positive way. I try to provide the online guides and the materials needed and would like to help a few individuals with their filing fees when the case is well done and important.

SO we trudge on and I ask you to help where you can. A great saying of one of FFUP’s litigator guides is “Persistence is the only resistance”. To me this translates to “Do your work.. Do your best- that is all we can do.”
I wish you the best this holiday season. Feel free to contact me.

Peg Swan:608-536-3993/pgswan3@aol.com
"animal in a cage" by DaRen Morris
+ Read More
Please help FFUP help prisoners. We are low on funds at a time when our work is most needed. Good things are happening. The myriad little prison awareness organizations are beginning to come together and discuss a workable division of labor. Here is a taste of what we are doing. More at www.prisonforum.org., including our latest newsletter.

1)Help with support for prisoners stuck in solitary confinement and those stranded without friends or families. A wonderful addition is a young woman, Bernadette. She has taken charge of seeing that those most in need get the nurturing they need, so they get through their prison ordeal with psyches intact. It always amazes me how little it takes on the part of us on the outside to be that light for prisoners in distress. “Someone cares... someone cares”. It makes all the difference. She actively finds people willing to write to prisoners and writes to some prisoners herself.
We also have a friend in Holland, Jessica, who is sending FFUP via email what she calls “day brighteners”- a few pages of cheerful, nurturing cartoons, articles, etc. that we send to the prisoners in need on a regular basis. She also corresponds to many.

2)Mentoring program: FFUP is working with EXPO (Ex-Prisoners Organizing) in order to start a mentoring program between those who have found their way through the daunting obstacle course of prison release and the young TIS inmates who are literally dumped back into their old neighborhoods with very few resources and no training or treatment while in prison.

3)Stamps to prisoners program is stretched to limit, funds needed- I cannot stress enough how important it is for rehabilitation that the prisoner is able to reach out and probably the most helpful thing FFUP does is this stamp program. About 5 years ago we started a regular monthly stamps program for indigent prisoners- they had to send their account statement proving indigence and they would receive 5 embossed envelopes and a pad of paper a month. The DOC (Department of Corrections) approves only a few vendors and they are expensive so 5 embossed envelopes costs $3.15, a writing pad of 50 pages is $2.00. Since we started, the DOC has cut off their program of giving indigent inmates in Seg (solitary) one stamp a week and also this year has been whole hog taking money from inmates, misinterpreting an act passed by the legislature (see our web for more: www.prisonforum.org). At any rate the requests for those 5 stamps a month have skyrocketed. We send the 5 stamped envelopes only and not the paper, and we are stretching out the time between sending stamps to compensate.
There is little we can say to help you, the public understand the need here. There is a long period of “shock and awe” for anyone who starts this work, for our prison system is toxic and corrupt to the core. These stamps give hope to many.

4)Litigation is the way prisoners keep sane and positive. Besides, lawsuits by prisoners being virtually the only moving object in the prison world, learning the law is the one tool prisoner have to stay sane. Books are almost impossible to get but the prison cannot legally stop legal work. AND unknown to many out here, many wins in prison reform were started by prisoners and the suits were written by prisoners. Because only a lawyer can represent a class action, the lawyer ends up representing the class using the case the prisoner wrote. Postage and materials need for printing are always short here, and especially needed is postage for internet downloads of guides.

5)FFUP CLASS ACTIONS. With prisoner litigator help, FFUP has been putting together a class action on mentally ill and solitary confinement in all its forms. We have been stymied by the fact that FFUP mail is read by the DOC and retaliation is real against the people we work with. Good news is that we now have a litigator on the outside who knows the prison scene and will work with FFUP. This is a big breakthrough and we can leap ahead. I am not a lawyer, my function generally is in gathering cases and as a resource person. We are also supporting many individual cases, and the two most important ones may change a lot. One man suing the DOC after 27 years in solitary: He is after big changes and the case is in settlement. The other one we are supporting (Both cases we support with funds and contacts and downloads) is on the poor health care in prison and although this is about one prisoner, we hope to expand it to a class action. Even as an individual case, it will have far-reaching effects. For example, this will make sure that only nurses can pass out meds. As it is now, untrained guards wreak havoc with the prisoners’ meds.

This is a glance at what we do- please support this effort and thanks much for reading this.
Peg Swan
FFUP Founder, 608-536-3993; pgswan3@aol.com
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Belinda Pearson-Moore
18 months ago
1
1

CAN YOU ADD SOMEONE TO THIS ACCOUNT.

+ Read More
Lisa Kopelman
7 months ago

Seems like you're doing excellent work. Do you work with prisons nationwide, federal, state or both? I would love more information.

+ Read More

$2,913 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 22 months
Created September 28, 2016
Funds raised will benefit:
forumforunderstandingprisons
  Certified Charity
+ Learn More
Blue River, WI
EIN: 820626669
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of GoFundMe platform and payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
MC
$100
Mary Clark
1 month ago

Thanks for your hard work!!

$200
Anonymous
1 month ago
SH
$20
suzi havens
2 months ago

I have a son in prison whom I'm able to send money to. However there are a couple of amazing inmates i have met and corresponded with who are in solitary and could really benefit from any help and or letters..

AA
$200
Anonymous Anonymous
4 months ago

Thank you for your work

$100
Anonymous
7 months ago
KH
$100
Kathleen Hart
7 months ago

Keep up the good work Peg.

MC
$150
Mary Kay Clark
7 months ago

Thanks for your hard work!!

GT
$1,000
GoFundMe Team
11 months ago

GoFundMe is proud to donate to campaigns as part of our Gives Back program. Thanks for being a part of our community. - The GoFundMe Team

Belinda Pearson-Moore
18 months ago
1
1

CAN YOU ADD SOMEONE TO THIS ACCOUNT.

+ Read More
Lisa Kopelman
7 months ago

Seems like you're doing excellent work. Do you work with prisons nationwide, federal, state or both? I would love more information.

+ Read More
or
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.