Monday, April 4, 2011

Furlough Days in Wisconsin

Well, what a joy, The state agencies were shut down today for a furlough day. Why should this matter to me? Well as a offender that is on GPS I go on lockdown every day that the DOC decides to take a day off.
So today, they were nice enough to let me go to work then straight home. I am told that they limit my movements due to staff being short! Well, lets take a look at the situation. It is true that on furlough days the DOC staff is short, this is because the state spent more money then they had and they were forced to make cuts. Good idea in theory but does it really make sence, that is an entirly another blog for another day!

So lets look hour these furlough days affect offenders on GPS! Due to the furlough day, the DOC made a policy that limits offenders movements on these days. So they pretty much put you on house arrest, and what did the offender do wrong? NOTHING. The DOC "justified" limiting movement due to staff shortages. So they decided that offenders on GPS can only go to work and to treatment. So becuase the DOC can state that the staff is short, they put offenders in my situation on house arrest.

So this made me start to think, what is the difference between a fulough day and say a weekend. In both situations there is a shortage of staff, because they only staff enough people to run the programs that run 24 hours a day, things like the monitoring center. It is mandated by the GPS statue that the monitoring center is mandated to be staffed 24 hours a day 365 days a year. So there is staff there to operate the monitoring center in Madison Wisconsin. This is staffed weather it is a weekday, a weekend, or a furlough day because they have to monitor all offenders that are on electonic monitoring weather it is GPS, scam, sobrieter or any other electonic moniting that they state has.

On weekends I have an approved schedule and i pretty much have free movement when i have "outtime." They allow me to leave my residence then, and this is one of those times that there is limited DOC staff on. Now today, there are persons working in the monitoring center. I have an approved schedule from my agent, just like any other weekday. What is different between today and yesterday? They both had "limited DOC staff" so why should i be only allowed to go to treatment or work, any other time I am locked within my house, and if I leave anywhere else there will be a warrent issues and i will have a couple of officers knocking at my door to take me to the town motel for the night. So it just proves that there is someone sitting behind a desk in Madison to monitor the movements of the offenders on electronic monitoring, as there has to be someone to issue the warrents and to verify the the warrent when the wounderful police department calls.

So we know that the DOC monitoring center is staffed on furlough days, same as weekends and holidays. So why is the DOC punishing offenders on electronic monitoring. GPS and most electronic monitoring is used as a tool. GPS is a tool, it should be used as a tool until it is deamed unconstitutional. It should never be used as a punishment. This is not a punishment, this is a tool that is mandated by statue. So as a tool, it should not be used as a punishment, and should not be used as house arrest when the DOC does not want to do there job!

The time to change is now. We need to speak out about this and contact our legislators and anyone that will listen to force change on this issue. How is one supposed to become a productive member of society and give back if they are locked in there house whenever the DOC and legislators want to "save" money.

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