prisoner support fund
Stamps for indigent prisoners:
FFUP stands for "Forum for Understanding Prisons" and its mission is to give prisoners a voice. Although we work with many organizations as allie, FFUP at its core is one activist and many prisoners. At present we are working closely with IWOC, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee to support prisoners in their bid to end long term solitary; have close ties to WISDOM, an interfaith prison reform group and are putting together two class action lawsuits with prisoners which will soon go to lawyers.( www.dyingtolive.blogspot.com)( www.prisonforum.blogspot.com)
What do I do and what will FFUP use donations for? Except for a few donations, I use my own money to fund FFUP and it has become too little for prisoners' needs.
Most my money goes to buying indigent prisoners stamps and paper and helping with justice work.The prisoners have to send their account statement in order to recieve the monthly 5 pack of stamps. Indigent prisoners in isolation used to get one free stamp a week and two sheets of paper from the prison and this has been cut. Contact with the outside world is vital to prisoners' well being. Also, for litigators,new DOC rules and court decisions have made legal work more difficult so FFUP is more needed than ever. It is interesting to note that the vast majority of lawsuits that create healing changes to our prison system nation wide,are first written by inmate litigators. We also do a newsletter about four times a year, which is sent in paper form to prisoners and put on the web for everyone out here.
When we have the funds, we can also help long term segregation inmates get books or a cheap radio. These few things can be an enormous help to an inmate trying to get through his/her time in isolation.
I have been doing this work for 16 plus years and it is both hearbreaking 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, I have a unique comprehensive view. Giving prisoners a voice, is our mission and the wider mission is to raise awareness so we all force the WI DOC to live up to its promises. Prisoners think the public doesn't see them as human. They are our brothers and sisters . Please help - FFUP does this work on a shoestring-no salaries, no expense accounts- your donations will be well used and much appreciated.
The most important stuff FFUP does , however, is the writing to prisoners and the buying of stamps so they can in turn reach out. A little caring goes along way in there and helps prisoners remember that they are worthwhile and their consciousness and good will is needed here and now. Newsletter will be stuffed this time and I will see that link to it will be out here. FFUP is always short on funds but we do what we can and I truly appreciate your support. peg
New on the scene because of your donations is the possibility of purchasing much need items for prisoners who are not making - especially the kids in long term segregation. I am writing to one heartbreaker- a kid (early twenties)who is going to be in our class action and has been told he is going to administrative confinement(AC)- long term isolation. He is terribly scare and is part of the lawsuit because he sliced himself up badly while in seg the last time-he begs for a tv and I am bound to help with that- so that is the first purchase I am after that goes WAY beyond my usual offering of one pack of stamps and maybe a pad of paper and legal guides printed out from the internet. Can we do it? Everything has to be bought through two retailers and nothing is cheap-will give link to a' wish list I am working on soon.
But biggest deal is working with a couple jailhouse lawyers on this class action- it is shaping up well, we have the plaintiffs- the inmates with the best cases that show just how bad the situation is and who have filed all the complaints they have to. This will be a comprehensive action covering many issues, the main one being the corruption that has become the heart of the system. We are writing the rough draft of the thing and with that will begin our lawyer hunt in earnest. We will succeed because we must.
Thank you again, It means alot.
With your donations we will be able to get the documents we need to prove our arguments plus I will continue to send the stamps and paper to indigent inmates. Also I just sent our newsletter into the prisons and am waiting to see if it gets in- this will update prisoners on what we are doing .
We are closer than we have ever been to making effective long lasting changes to this most corrupt system. Bravo to all of us . Please keep in mind , I work closely with prisoner litigators, (who generally know more about prison law than lawyers) and they remain anonymous although they help me willingly at every stage. This letter to lawyers, for example, was a combined effort with one of my dear friends in there. beautiful , long fall. let us all enjoy it and thanks again.
note: picture is by prisoner in CCI