prisoner support fund
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.
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.
FFUP Founder, 608-536-3993; email@example.com
Hello, a short time ago I posted an update telling of our present coalition efforts – we are attempting to combine efforts with other Wisconsin groups around a central campaign to finally force change. Each of our organizations does a piece of what is needed well—and together we can get this done and finally get a corrections system that lives up to it mission of rehabilitating offenders and keeping the public safe.
But I write today to highlight two items on the list- the two lawsuits. We need 250 for each- that is 500 dollars as soon as possible. I thank donors for the 250 dollars we received so far. The court’s clock ticks away relentlessly and we need to get this money to the courts , Our main web page has links to summation of one of the cases and writing and background of the other. Plus here is an overview of all our efforts : www. prisonforum.org
I hope you can see your way to supporting this effort . With your help, we can finally evolve a justice system that heals.
Thank you for your attention and generosity.
We are finally building a coalition so I am excited and have presented a comprehensive bill rough draft that IS possible IF we all work together and convince legislators that we want a corrections system that does rehabilitate and keep the public safe. We had a first meeting a couple weeks ago and as soon as the rough draft of our bill is complete- we will have a larger meeting and get serious about of working closer together.
But I am also coming to you for funds. FFUP is committed to helping two prisoner litigators file suits that will if won , bring systemic changes to the system. Fees and copies are expensive and the combined need is about 1200 dollars . FFUP filed a suit on behalf of 8 solitary confinement victims and we also are funding a health suit that will , if won , ensure that only licensed health personnel distribute prescription funds. These last two efforts have depleted most of our funds and we come to you for help. Anything and everything is appreciated. Again , go here for details a nd more details are coming: www.prisonforum.org
Along with that our stamp program is as important as ever- we supply one pak of stamps (5) and pad of paper as we can to indigent inmates. They send us their account statements every few months to verify their no money status. Keeping in touch with the outside is vital and they also use these for their legal work. FFUP also send s out guides, makes copies and in general seems to pour money into the postal service.
I will soon put up an update showing solitary prisoners in trouble who need radios or tvs to keep going. Can we do this?- I received letters telling of two suicides this month and am told attempts are a several times daily affair. Our help is vital and I thank you for anything you can do.
Again- details on our web with links to projects and more coming: www.prisonforum.org
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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:email@example.com/608-536-3883
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
Founder, Forum for Understanding Prisons (FFUP)
29632 Wild Rose Drive; Blue River, WI 53518
Seems like you're doing excellent work. Do you work with prisons nationwide, federal, state or both? I would love more information.
Peggy works with Wisconsin inmates, and occasionally individual inmates in other states. Visit her website or get in touch with her to learn more!