Participation Opportunities

MOSES NEEDS YOU – JOIN US

I. MOSES TASK FORCES AND THEIR FOCUS GROUPS

A. JUSTICE SYSTEM REFORM INITIATIVE (JSRI) TASK FORCE

Purpose: To reduce the number of people in the Dane County Jail and their overall involvement with the criminal justice system. Using an evidence-based approach, this includes addressing racial inequity, ensuring safety in the jail, and dealing with mental health and substance abuse in a fairer and more humane way.

Actions

  • Become informed about Dane County criminal justice system issues
  • Attend and testify at Dane County Board Committee meetings
  • Research best practices around the country
  • Write position statements, op-ed pieces, and letters to the editor
  • Meet with stakeholders within the Dane County criminal justice system 
  • Communicate with other relevant community organizations
  • Participate in county workgroups when possible

JSRI Focus Groups

  • Crisis Restoration – Purpose: To develop a 24/7 facility for mental health crises, to provide an option other than an emergency room and/or the jail.
    • Logistics: Meets on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
  • Data – Purpose: To analyze and understand data related to the Dane County criminal justice system and to advocate for improved data collection, sharing, and reporting to enable analysis and accountability. 
    • Logistics: Dates and times for monthly meetings vary.
  • Diversions – Purpose: To focus on diversion initiatives related to the Dane County Jail, attend Criminal Justice Council and other relevant county meetings, and engage with leaders of the criminal justice system to learn and advocate for change. 
    • Logistics: Usually meets on the first Thursday of the month, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Education Purpose: To focus on the JSRI Task Force operation and on keeping the rest of MOSES informed of what JSRI is doing. This focus group also helps JSRI members to speak confidently on issues and testify effectively in settings such as county committee meetings. 
    • Logistics: Dates and times for monthly meetings vary.
  • Jail – Purpose: To share information between MOSES and Dane County Jail staff and support key policy changes, such as eliminating solitary confinement.
    • Logistics: Dates and times for monthly meetings vary.

 

B. RACIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL CHILDREN (RJAC) TASK FORCE

Purpose: To eradicate the childhood-to-school-to-prison pipeline via strategic supports to reduce the generational deprivation experienced by children of color and children in poverty due to systemic racism 

 Actions:

  • Expand trauma-informed school programs for children of color
  • Promote funding for trauma-informed school programs
  • Testify for increased funding for school programs at municipal budget hearings in Dane County
  • Contact the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), Board of Education-MMSD, and Madison City Council to advocate for effective programs for children of color
  • Educate local member congregations and community organizations on the issues

RJAC Focus Groups

  • Education Improvement: To eradicate the childhood-to-school-to-prison pipeline via strategic supports that will improve education for children of color and children in poverty and reduce the generational deprivation experienced due to systemic racism.
  • Justice for Children and Families’ Needs: To eradicate the childhood to school-to-prison pipeline via strategic improvements in support for children and families by focusing on meeting children’s basic needs as a first step to reduce the generational deprivation experienced by children of color due to systemic racism or children in poverty.

C. PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FORCE

Purpose: To improve public safety in Dane County and its municipalities and schools 

Actions

  • Reduce the overall reliance on armed law enforcement officers for maintaining public safety for both juveniles and adults
  • Reduce racial disparities in rates of law enforcement surveillance and arrest for both juveniles and adults
  • Increase responsiveness of public safety organizations and programs to the priorities and needs of lower-income people, Blacks, and other people of color residing in Dane County
  • Testify at Madison Police and Fire Commission meetings and at municipal budget hearings in Dane County to advocate for measures in support of improved public safety
  • Educate local member congregations and community organizations on the issues

II. MOSES OPERATIONAL TEAMS

A. Communications Team 

Purpose: To produce the MOSES newsletter and yearbook and to offer, if requested, editorial assistance on a variety of MOSES informational materials and the MOSES website

Actions

  • Create and produce bimonthly MOSES newsletters, which may include articles from the community organizer and sustaining members, as well as reports on MOSES events, book reviews, and core team reports
  • Plan, review, edit, and provide graphics for a yearbook of new or previously published topical and substantive articles on the work of MOSES, a president’s letter, and ads from supporting faith communities and organizations
  • Provide oversight on content and appearance of the MOSES website
  • Provide editorial support for MOSES informational materials

B. Events Team

Purpose: To organize and facilitate internal programs for MOSES monthly meetings and to assist task forces that wish to have public events. The team is not responsible for finding venues or organizing refreshments. 

Actions

  • Schedule the speakers for the general meetings
  • Coordinate with task forces that want to host forums

C. Fundraising Team

Purpose: To take responsibility for the financial viability of MOSES by meeting our financial goals in support of the vital work of MOSES

Actions 

  • Develop strategies and plans for current fundraising events, such as the Annual Gala and Lunch & Learn
  • Encourage and promote sustaining memberships
  • Research and design strategies for new grants and maintain current grants  

D. Member Engagement Team

Purpose: To welcome new and current members to MOSES and encourage participation in MOSES advocacy and activities

Actions

  • Be a welcoming presence at monthly general membership meetings
  • Track meeting attendance
  • Phone new members to further welcome and orient them to MOSES
  • Provide members with information on MOSES participation opportunities
  • Educate members on our history, structure, and accomplishments; the benefits of membership; and common terms
  • Survey the ministry teams of member congregations and the Individual Caucus on their needs and activities 

III. The Racial Equity Team  

Purpose: To help MOSES fulfill the ideals of racial equity, justice, and inclusion expressed in our mission and values statement.

Actions

  • Plan and direct Racial Equity discussions at the monthly MOSES General Meetings.
  • Coordinate with WISDOM’s Racial Equity Core Team to plan statewide programs and help other affiliates deal with racial issues in their own communities
  • Help to publicize opportunities in and around Madison for members of MOSES and our congregations to learn more about systemic racism and take a stand for racial equity, justice, and inclusion.

IV. WISDOM TASK FORCES

A. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT TASK FORCE

Purpose: To reduce or eliminate solitary confinement and the use of lockdowns in Wisconsin prisons by advocating for changes in the Wisconsin criminal justice system

Actions

  • Advocate for ending the use of solitary confinement, or reducing its use to no more than 10 days and only when absolutely necessary
  • Advocate for mental health checks before and after the use of solitary confinement
  • Reduce or eliminate the excessive use of prison lockdowns to 5-10 days, and only when absolutely necessary 
  • Contact the Governor, legislators, and the Department of Corrections Secretary  
  • Educate local member congregations and community organizations on the issues

B. OLD LAW TASK FORCE

Purpose: To ensure that people are given a fair chance to be released on parole in Wisconsin. Nearly 3,000 current Wisconsin prisoners were sentenced before truth-in-sentencing went into effect in 2000 and are eligible for parole. 

Actions

  • Educate the community on the people who have already served at least 20 years in Wisconsin prisons and who are eligible for parole
  • Press the Governor and Parole Commission Chair to dramatically increase the rate of release of people incarcerated under Old Law, wherever this can be done safely
  • During the pandemic, press the Governor to use his power to commute sentences, to achieve the immediate release of elderly prisoners, those seriously ill, and those with underlying conditions that make them dangerously vulnerable to the coronavirus;
  • Attend monthly meetings of the Parole Commission and monitor changes there, including the pace of releases, length of defers, etc.

C. POST-RELEASE TASK FORCE

Purpose: To focus on issues impacting individuals after their release from prison or jail, to prevent reincarceration and reduce barriers to community re-entry

Actions

  • Oppose supervision practices that result in unreasonable conditions of supervision, responses that are disproportionate to a violation, or excessive time on supervision
  • Advocate for legislation that eliminates crimeless revocation
  • Promote policies that reduce barriers to employment and housing and enhance reintegration into the community 
  • Review legislative documents, reports, and articles on topics of interest  
  • Contact the Governor, legislators, and the Department of Corrections about these issues 

 

Revised 10/12/21