In the fall of 2013, Midvale Community Lutheran Church joined WISDOM, the Wisconsin affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, an interfaith organization comprised of more than one hundred and fifty congregations, of nineteen different faith traditions, and thousands of individuals. MOSES is the local chapter which includes congregations from the Madison area. There are nine other local chapters of WISDOM throughout the state.
WISDOM and its local affiliates are engaged in a variety of social justice initiatives involving our criminal justice system at both the state and local levels. Its objective is to improve our communities’ efforts to achieve public safety through humane and sensible policies. A central part of WISDOM’s work is the 11x15 campaign – a variety of initiatives with a goal of reducing Wisconsin’s prison population to 11,000 by the end of 2015.
Recent initiatives include (1) the work of the Moses Jail Task Force, advocating against an expensive expansion of the Dane County Jail, and for more humane and innovative responses to our local public safety issues, (2) support for a change in state law to permit most, if not all, 17 year olds to be treated as juveniles rather than adults, and (3) expansion of the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program at the state level to provide treatment rather than simply punishment to low risk offenders with alcohol or substantive abuse problems.
Additional information about WISDOM, MOSES and the Gamaliel Foundation can be found at the following websites. www.wisdomwi.org and www.gamaliel.org or by contacting Ben Kempinen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Congregation members Ben Kempinen and Nan Faith are our congregation representatives.