Black Men in Prison
Milwaukee Public Television and WUWM 89.7
Tackle the Impact of High Incarceration Rate
among Black Men

Wisconsin’s High Rate of Black Male Incarceration:
What are the Solutions?

Black Men In Prison Town Hall Forum Banner.jpg

In the 2010 Census, Wisconsin had the highest percentage of incarcerated black men in the nation. One of every eight black men of working age is behind bars. In Milwaukee County, more than half of African American men in their thirties have served time in prison.

WUWM and MPTV embarked on a collaboration to examine
Wisconsin's high black male incarceration rate, which is highest in the nation.

Our Black Men in Prison series investigated the reasons behind the numbers, and their impact on the community.


Lake Effect Special: Black Men in Prison



Joanne Williams and Mitch Teich hosted a special 90 minute version of WUWM's "Lake Effect." Wisconsin has the highest incarceration of African American males in the nation. What that means for Milwaukee, the state, communities, families, and citizens is explored by Rev. Willie E. Brisco, President of MICAH; Rev. Mark Evans, DD, former inmate and chair of the MFI Faith Committee; Torre Johnson, former inmate, and current Site Manager for Wisconsin Community Services; and E. Michael McCann, former Milwaukee County District Attorney.

The program was taped on March 11, 2014 at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum.

WUWM and MPTV explored the issue, through expert analysis and personal stories of people involved in the criminal justice system.

Click here for Community Resources - Criminal Justice Partnerships.

Comments, and suggestions are welcome by contacting us at

Black Nouveau Text AAA.jpg
4SF AA.jpg 
Adelante Text.jpg 


[Original Airdate: November 13, 2013]

Black Nouveau examines why Wisconsin has the highest incarceration rate of black males in the nation; profiles the Kenya Safari Acrobats; learns about bed bugs and how to get rid of them; and, discusses the importance of the Affordable Care Act with City Health Commissioner Bevan Baker.
[Original Airdate: November 15, 2013]

Building a Safe Community for All
Crime is down in many parts of our city. But there are some areas where parents are afraid to let their children walk to school or play outside. How do we build safe neighborhoods for all of us?
 [Original Airdate: November 12, 2013]

¡Adelante! joins MPTV's Black Nouveau and 4th Street Forum, along with WUWM 89.7-Milwaukee Public Radio on a series of programs exploring Wisconsin's high incarceration rate of African American and Latino males and the job opportunities available for ex-offenders.

[Original Airdate: January 15, 2014]

Marrian Efua previews her upcoming tribute to Phyllis Hyman; the upcoming MLK celebration at the Marcus Center is previewed with Lashawanda Anderson, winner in the 11th-12th Grade Speech Writing Category; and Liddie Collins talks with best selling author Walter Mosley.

[Original Airdate: November 22, 2013]

Racial and Gender Bias: Persistent and Subtle? Fifty years ago, racism and sexism were easy to identify. Today, attitudes and beliefs about race and gender have changed. But do racial and gender biases persist subtly by influencing hiring practices, determining the amount we earn, and affecting how we interact with each other?
[Original Airdate: February 19, 2014]

BN #2221 profiles Milwaukee's music maestro, Dr. Wallace Cheatham; offers tips on getting funds for college; and talks with members of the Community Advisory Board of the Chaney Corrections Center about Wisconsin's high incarceration rate of Black Males.

 [Original Airdate: February 28, 2014]

Black Men in Prison: Exploring the Crisis, Changing the Outcome Over the past few months, Milwaukee Public Radio and Milwaukee Public Television have joined together to explore why our state has the highest incarceration rate of black men in the nation. What are the findings? And how do we change the outcome for Wisconsin's black men? With host Denise Callaway. And with guests in order of appearance -- LaToya Dennis, News Reporter and Producer, Milwaukee Public Radio, WUWM 89.7; Lois Quinn, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, UW-Milwaukee's Employment & Training Institute, Co-author, "Wisconsin's Mass Incarceration of African American Males;" Clem Richardson, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor, Project Return Milwaukee, Founder and CEO, Manna Behavioral Services.

[Original Airdate: February 26, 2014]

Drs. Ramel Smith, Bill Seymour, and Hector Torres are men on a mission; they want to help men grow into their potential by helping them realize that they have choices and that the choices they make will determine their futures.   This half hour special looks at the “Building A Better Man” initiative by the three area psychologists whose work with young men prompted them to create this project.  They take their workshop to Mitchell Middle School, Pulaski High School, and to prison to discuss how masculinity is defined in our culture.  The three mental health clinicians were recently honored  by the Milwaukee Area Psychological Association for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Psychology for the “Building A Better Man” Project. 


[Original Airdate: March 19, 2014]

Black Nouveau discusses Wisconsin's high incarceration rate of African-American males with three former inmates. They talk candidly about their experiences in the criminal justice system, what turned their lives around, and offer suggestions for creating a more equitable system of justice. Joanne Williams hosts.


[Original Airdate: May 14, 2014]

Black Nouveau presents an abbreviated version of the Black Men in Prison town hall special held at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum and produced with WUWM that aired on Lake Effect on March 11, 2014. Joanne Williams and WUWM’s Mitch Teich host the program that examines the consequences of Wisconsin’s high incarceration rate of African-American males. Panelists include Reverend Willie Briscoe, President of MICAH; Reverend Mark Evans, DD, former inmate and current Chairman Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative; Torre Johnson, former inmate, Site Manager for Wisconsin Community Services; and E. Michael McCann, former District Attorney for Milwaukee County.


[Original Airdate: June 11, 2014]

Black Nouveau concludes its examination of Wisconsin's high incarceration rate of African American males, with comments made at the "Black Men in Prison Town Hall Meeting: Solutions" on May 20, 2014. Special guests State Senator Nikiya Harris, State Representative Ron Hutton, Rev. Joe Ellwanger (WISDOM), R L McNeely (Chaney Community Advisory Board), and Lois Quinn, co-author of the UW-Milwaukee study that reported on Wisconsin's high incarceration rate discuss possible solutions. Joanne Williams hosts.