Fox Lake Reporter #2

The Fox Lake Reporter

Issue 2

Hello all FOX LAKE IWOC contacts!

This is our second Issue of the Fox Lake Reporter!. This issue will cover submissions we had lately, trying to keep it current.   If you have something to add to the future newsletters it would be most helpful.  The more ‘news from inside’ we get, the better.  The IWOC network has been growing;  the guidelines below will help us respond efficiently, especially if you plan to send in something for the next newsletter

1)  Start a NEW message for your reply

2)  We do not have access to any lawyers; individual legal support is outside of our capacity.

3)  For newsletter submissions, please put all comments or questions into one email with the  subject line “Fox Lake Reporter” 

4) Be sure to let us know if you want to be named publicly or remain anonymous, both for the newsletter or to be otherwise posted publicly (i.e. on the internet).

5)  Please let us know which prison you are writing from in every message, especially if you’ve been transferred.

-If you’ll be released within the next three months please send a new message to us with the subject line, “Release,” so that we can forward you the info and resources we have regarding reentry.

-We want to get more people involved in IWOC’s research, phone calls, etc. If you have any family/friends who may be able to help out, send a new email with the subject line “Outside People,” + include in the message the person’s name and phone number/contact information.

-We’re a membership based labor union that organizes against capitalism and prison slavery. If you’d like to join up/want more info on what joining means, send a new email to us with the subject line, “Membership.”

-If you know anyone who’s not in contact with us who would like to receive this newsletter, tell them to add us on Corrlinks to automatically get future issues.

DOC Staff now required to wear masks!?  It’s about time!

Responses from Inside

Update: 6/19/20 The Fox Lake is now getting transfers  from other  institutions. Thursday there were 15 people transferred to Fox Lake.13 from Dodge and 2 from Green bay. The transfers from Dodge were quarantined 14 days before they left so they went straight to intake unit 9. The transfers from Green Bay are being quarantined in unit 8.

   According to the health services staff none of the tests came back positive including the retests of the prisoners whose tests were initially inconclusive. The Physical Therapist has fully recovered and is back at work. She felt terrible that we had to be quarantined. She says she felt a little I’ll on Friday May 22 so she went and got tested. Was told she was positive on the 23rd and called the prison immediately. All of which is consistent with what I know of her and the timeline.

   A source reports that an RHU officer has been reassigned pending investigation for excessive force after an incident where he pushed a prisoner who was handcuffed to the cell door into his cell when that prisoner refused to lock in.

I only have one side of the story but the source says the prisoner does this  regularly. It makes me wonder how long that prisoner has been in RHU.

JOSHUA WADE (355083)

Today 6/24/2020 they moved a whole wing off of unit 4. They turned 4D into the quarantine wing. I do not understand how this is going to work. Even the officers are confused. Even with the wing door closed, there is a 4 inch gap at the bottom, which connects them to the rest of the unit. The forced air system (heating, vents, etc.) Are all connected. All men on the wing must wear masks when outside their rooms and also the officer must wear one when on that wing, but then immediately takes it off and enters our wing! There is no sanitation process when leaving that wing and walking on to ours. The men must eat in their rooms but the trays (which were supposed to be disposable and are not) are then sent back to the unit kitchen for us to wash, possibly exposing the dishwashers to Covid-19. I understand that this wing is only for men coming back into the institution from off grounds trips, and 99% will not have been exposed to the virus, but it only takes that 1% to start a mini pandemic here. How this is even going to work is beyond me. The first men arrived on 6/24 and will be sent back to the population in 14 days, but men will be coming and going, so it will not be a true 14 day quarantine. It is just another example of the DOC not thinking things through. On a side note the two unit 4D workers were bumped from a 3 rate pay to a 5 rate for hazard pay, although I did hear a guard grumbling about how he doesn’t get hazard pay so why should the inmates get it. In solidarity,

ROBERT MCBAIN on 6/26/2020 12:13:31 AM

  I am Robert McBain and I’m writing about the abuse of power of the CLASSIFICATION SPECIALIST Ms. BUSKE here at FoxLake Correctional.

  She takes your whole prison history and holds it against you when she should be focusing on just this prison term. She also does whatever she wants because there are plenty of people not getting their ERP at the right time. She holds people back as much as possible when she should be trying to help people do  better. She clearly doesn’t respect her fellow social workers or Deputy Warden’s because I had recommendations from not 1 but 2 social workers and a Deputy Warden from a different institution saying when you get here we encourage you to apply for this program. So what does she do, yep one year recall. So now the real question is where is her accountability in the institution? She has no boss at Fox Lake correctional only at Madison. What can we do to hold people like that in check that are not or will not help us inmates? We need to hold people like that to a higher standard cause they simply can control where and when or if you do programs that are assigned or just willing to take them cause they can benefit you…

KYLE FISH (660126)  6/26/2020 11:43:32 PM

Unjust Treatment At Re-classification Hearings

  Allow me to provide some background information.

There is overcrowding here at FLCI due to lack of transfers to Earned Release Programs and minimum custody. Many inmates such as myself have decided to write letters to the warden, to the Department Of Corrections, and to the Department Of Reclassification in an effort to express the urgency of change. The following is a letter I have written to the warden, and it is my hope that it doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

Warden Meisner,

  My name is Kyle Fish. I have been an inmate at Fox Lake Correctional Institution since September 26th of 2019. I am writing to you today to speak on the injustices currently taking place within the walls of this facility in the hopes that you will hear my words and take decisive action in this matter. The matter about which I am speaking is the unjust conduct of the current head of the Reclassification Committee here at FLCI. Since my time here I’ve seen on countless occasions deserving inmates being denied their Earned Release Programs due to reasons deemed inadequate by the D.O.C. This is shown by the sheer number of decisions made by Ms. Buske, the head of the Reclassification Committee, that are overridden by the D.O.C. This alone is enough of a reason to consider immediate action. Inmates that are being denied are given any and every reason that could possibly be found for their denial. Inmates are being denied due to the existence of major conduct reports. Inmates without major conduct reports are being denied due to minor conduct reports. Inmates without conduct reports are being denied due to warnings on file. Inmates with no conduct reports, no warnings, and have been through schooling and maintained steady jobs with high marks in both are being denied due to unmet program needs for programs such as AODA, T4C, and DV, which are programs which can be completed through ERP. Upon arrival at this institution, inmates like myself who ask to take programs such as these but will be eligible for their ERP’s on or around the time of their re-classification hearings are told that due to long class waiting lists, small class groups, and Earned Release Program eligibility, they would not be signed up for programs here at fox lake. They are told this by social workers who know full well that our program needs can be met at ERP, who work with us inmates and see our growth everyday, and who make recommendations to send us inmates to programs which they know we have worked non-stop to get to. These recommendations are consistently treated ad though they hold no merit by Ms. Buske, whose only interaction with inmates is during these hearings. 

This type of treatment has made inmates like myself feel as though nothing we have accomplished or strive to accomplish is seen as beneficial in the eyes of Ms. Buske. This has led to many inmates losing such hope that they neglect to appear for their reclassification hearing, and losing such morale that they are no longer determined to change for the better during their time here at Fox Lake Correctional Institution. I bring this issue to you because you are a fresh set of eyes and ears, and because I believe you can hop. I, like many others, have a family, and find it imperative that I make it back to them, now more than ever in this time of crisis. if I am to be hindered, let it not be due to unjust cause. Thank you for your time

CHRISTOPHER SMITH (289531)  6/28/2020 4:21:31 AM

Greetings Ladies & Gentleman:

   My name is Christopher Smith, a Patient here at this institution. I want to keep it real with the readers when it comes to fact that’s now coming forward.  Fox Lake put up a front when it comes to the healthcare & Dental that is supposed to be given to all patients in their care.  Well, I’m 45 yrs. Old, and I have been here at Fox Lake for 7 years and I haven’t had a “Physical”.  It’s been over  5 yrs. since I had my teeth cleaned.  Fox Lake is supposed to provide everyone in it’s care these services every year for free.  Yet, they are cooking the books by billing the State for services that they are not providing.


  Patients with preexisting medical conditions have to pay a copay every time to be seen by medal staff.  I’m suffering a lower

Back injury, and I requested that I want an MRI done to see what the problem is.  I was denied this request and given a medication called ” Naproxen ” which does absolutely nothing but cause liver damage if I chose to keep taking it. Honestly, I don’t know how this institution is still open.


  Fox Lake is contaminated with rodents of all kinds, from rat’s, water bug’s, spiders, and horse flies.  There’s mold in the showers, Missing tiles on the floor, every housing unit has multiple cracks in the foundations, contaminated water which is causing serious health problems, poor ventilation and exposure to great harm.

ANONYMOUS  6/29/2020 12:55:31 AM

  I’m writing from Fox Lake Correctional Institution,  I’m 51 months in on a 60 month sentence. Recently I filed for my 85% sentence adjustment, out of Waukesha County. I have gone my entire sentence without getting into any trouble, I have held a job for 3+ years at B.S.I, I have completed all recommended programs from the D.O.C, I have completed additional programs on my own. I have a victimless crime, I’ve never been in trouble prior to this incarceration, I am currently staffed to Thompson Correctional Institution, and I have community custody. My petition came back DENIED!!! With everything going on in today’s society I thought I was going to get approved. With the covid pandemic going on and the politicians talking about reducing the prison population i thought i had a chance but its just empty promises. Well its all talk. Just empty campaign promises. I’m the prime example of someone that should be going home early. I’ve done everything right and for what? I no longer have any incentive to do good anymore. Either way I go home in just under 9 months. They denied my petition because its “not in the publics interest.” Here’s the thing I HAVE COMMUNITY CUSTODY I’ve been given the lowest custody level where I indeed can interact with the community and public. What’s the difference if I get out now or in 9 months. So in 9 months it will be in the public’s interest? It makes no sense whatsoever. I’m discouraged, I’m upset and frustrated beyond belief. But it’s out of my control. So my mentality now is, after doing 51 months what’s 9 more right? Granted I’d much rather be home being a Dad again to my two kids and start being a productive member of society again but now I must wait. What’s the point of having this sentence adjustment if you’re only going to give it out almost never?