MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Sad but true... Wisconsin has one of the country's highest rates of black male incarceration, but community members here in Milwaukee are trying to reverse that trend.
In a forum comprised of people of all races, a topic is discussed that affects the well-being of many member of the community.
"There's no doubt that racial disparities exist and of course we would love to eliminate them," said John Chisholm, Milwaukee Co. district attorney.
Dr. Pamela Malone organized a community brainstorming conference centering around racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Chisholm led the panel discussion on how to try to curb the issue.
"So we are looking at what the risk the person poses and what we can do to change the behavior that led them in in the first place," said Chisholm.
He says the ultimate goal is keeping the community safe but doing it in a way that reduces the number of people that are unnecessarily in the criminal justice system. But despite what it seems, the numbers are trending in the right direction.
"If you look at them number of individuals incarcerated from Milwaukee county compared in 2006 from the peak period compared to where we are at right now, we are actually down significantly they had close to 24,000-25,000 people in the prison system ..we now have 22,00 people that is a significant reduction," said Chisholm.
That happens partially because of treatment programs.
"We want to treat that problem if its mental illness, drug addiction, alcohol addiction or if it's a youthful offender," said Chisholm.
"What we are trying to figure out is the first time a person comes to us, what can we do most effectively to prevent them from coming back every again and that is a complicated process but its one as a community we have to be committed to," said Chisholm.
The goal of the forum was to inform the community on what's being done, and do some brainstorming on possible solutions that could lead to change.