Milwaukee holds racial disparities meeting, focuses on criminal justice system

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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.

7 comments

  • Sheila Moyet

    if you want to make a change you need to change the way these people think. You need to replace this “ghetto fabulous”, “in the hood” and “gangsta” mentality with “values”, “respect” and “dignity”. Also, in this age of “baby momma” and “baby daddy” the family structure has been broken. Enough with excuses , it’s time to see things as they really are.

  • dancing in the ruins

    It’s like with all the shootings on the north side and Mayor McCheese calling for a cease fire and ‘creating’ 25 jobs becuase he thinks that will end the violence. That does not get to the root of the problem.

    Welcome to Obama’s America – where as long as you are not white you are not responsible for your situation in life!

  • dianne

    self reliance, self responsibllity ..working hard, things aren’t easy,sacrifice..do unto others, the golden rule…not expecting that others will pull you out of the mess you might have made, paying your dues, working your way up and out.. doing it on your own and taking pride in that..respecting your elders, your teachers, the police, your neighbors yourself..what isn’t yours you don’t take. If you can’t afford to take care of yourself don’t have a family…until you can, and on and on

  • Gary Hamilton

    Yes once again lets support the criminal element instead of the law abiding citizen. Learn how to raise your children crack mama’s.

  • g

    Go over to n 27th st and w burleigh st. Any time of day and u will understand why more black males r in prison. that part of town looks, feels, and sounds like a third world county that’s in a middle of a civil war. No values, education, family, and respect for them selfs or others.

  • 2econd

    “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”
    No, it happenes because the legal system just isnt locking up the perps of crimes like they were, i.e. the loser that shot the 10 year old in the head..

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