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JSOnline | Ride Buses for Free Tuesday in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington Counties

Originally Posted at: http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/ride-buses-for-free-tuesday-in-milwaukee-waukesha-ozaukee-washington-counties-b99489044z1-301417121.html 

If you regularly ride a bus in the greater Milwaukee area, you're in for a gift Tuesday. And if you don't ride, this may be the day to try it.

That's because all rides are free for the day.

The one-day perk is part of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's centennial Gifts to the Community, and it's good for rides on public transit in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties.

The foundation has been giving out gifts each month. Last month, for example, it paid for admission to the Domes in Milwaukee for two days.

The free rides Tuesday are offered on the Milwaukee County Transit SystemWaukesha Metro Transit,Waukesha County TransitWashington County Commuter ExpressWashington County Shared Ride Taxi,West Bend Taxi Service and Hartford City Taxi.

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Two New Publications on Disability Insurance

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities conducts research and tracks statistics on Social Security disability programs, and they’ve just updated two important publications on disability insurance (DI). First, the Chart Book presents nearly two dozen graphs that illustrate key DI facts: why it's important, why the DI rolls have grown, who receives benefits, and what financing issues the program faces.  Second, their primer (or "Policy Basic"), is a short backgrounder on the Disability Insurance program and why it's important. Both publications are available here:

http://www.cbpp.org/blog/the-basics-of-disability-insurance-updated

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Press Release - Justice Initiatives Institute | Cited in Milwaukee: The Cost of Unpaid Municipal Citations

The following press release was posted by JusticePoint's sister organization, Justice Initiatives Institute.  For more information or to view the entire report, please go to www.jiinstitute.org.

Contact: Marilyn Walczak
414-908-0282 
mwalczak@jiinstitute.org 
205 W. Highland Ave. #201 
Milwaukee, WI 53203 

New Report: Cited In Milwaukee- THE COST OF UNPAID MUNICIPAL CITATIONS
 
Milwaukee, WI, April 17, 2015:  Justice Initiatives Institute (JII), a Milwaukee-based nonprofit agency, in collaboration with the Employment and Training Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education, completed a review of unpaid municipal fines that resulted in jail time for residents of the City of Milwaukee. The data review covered 5 years, 2008-2013 and only examined cases that had failures to appear in court and failures to pay fines. 

Some of the key findings in the JII report indicate that from 2008-2013:

  • The County jail costs to taxpayers were $10.2 million to detain individuals who failed to pay $5.7 million to the City of Milwaukee for municipal tickets.
  • Some individuals detained for failure to pay City of Milwaukee citations are homeless, have a mental illness, or have a substance abuse problem. They received tickets for spitting in public places, littering, removal of contents from a waste container, and trespassing in a building. 
  • The study sample contained 13,602 traffic cases that resulted in jail time in the City of Milwaukee. 89% of these cases were people charged with driving while under suspension but 82% of the underlying suspensions were for failure to pay forfeitures and not for unsafe driving. 
  • 3,388 marijuana cases had a total of $1.2 million in judgment amounts but only $179,958 was actually paid. In only 36 instances is Community Service as an alternative sanction utilized for these cases.
  • African American males made up 80% of men jailed for failure to appear and pay municipal citations in the City of Milwaukee, and were heavily concentrated between ages 20-39. African American women showed similar demographics making up 79% of women jailed, and were ages 20-39 years. 
  • The 6 ZIP codes with the highest amount of municipal arrests also had the highest percentage of individuals living below 100% of the official poverty line. 

Efforts by jurisdictions to use financial sanctions for defendants who may be homeless, unemployed, or simply too poor to pay have been documented recently by the New York Times, NPR and the ACLU.  

The full report can be viewed at the Justice Initiatives Institute web site: www.jiinstitute.org
 

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MCTS WILL BEGIN HANDING OUT FREE TRANSIT PASSES FOR ELIGIBLE SENIORS OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ON MARCH 31ST

MILWAUKEE The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will begin handing out the free transit pass, known as the GO Pass, to eligible riders on March 31st. The pass, which was mandated by the County Board of Supervisors, allows all Milwaukee County residents 65 and older unlimited free rides on MCTS buses. The free pass will also be available for residents with disabilities who meet certain requirements*. Both groups are currently allowed to ride on the bus for half fare...

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Taxation of Social Security and SSDI Payments

If you receive Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) income, you will also receive a Form SSA-1099 from the government. This form tells you the total amount of your benefits but does not tell you if any of your benefits are taxable, or at what percentage...

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Minorities May Be More Likely to Get Inaccurate Mental-Illness Diagnoses

The findings are complicated and vary greatly from country to country, but overall there are some clear and troubling connections between race and mental illness. In some places, members of disadvantaged groups (a category that often overlaps neatly with ethnic minority status) appear to be more susceptible to certain mental illnesses. In the U.S., while Latinos and African-Americans are less likely to be diagnosed with mood and anxiety disorders — a result that could be explained by a lack of access to mental-health care compared to other groups — when these disorders do crop up, they're more difficult to treat...

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CONGRATS WISCONSIN: Three States Join the Efforts of the National Institute of Corrections to Improve Public Safety Outcomes

The states of Indiana, Virginia, and Wisconsin have been selected by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) to proceed with Phase V of Evidence Based Decision Making (EBDM) in State and Local Criminal Justice Systems.

In partnership with the Center for Effective Public Policy, NIC has developed training and technical assistance plans to provide focused support and the assistance needed to complete the activities of EBDM Phase V, the in-depth analysis and planning necessary for improved public safety outcomes. State teams composed of one state policy team and one criminal justice team from each of seven jurisdictions will be assigned a technical assistance (TA) provider who will be onsite at least once per month through March 2016. The TA provider—a content expert and coach—will facilitate stakeholders through the “EBDM Roadmap,” a step-by-step process for applying the EBDM framework across each state and the selected local jurisdictions.

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NEW REPORT - Income Inequality and the Solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund

Social Security disability benefits are often the only source of income for individuals who, due to physical and/or mental impairments, are no longer able to work. These modest payments (and the accompanying health insurance) are crucial to individuals who would otherwise risk being homeless, hungry, and uninsured. In advance of the House Ways and Means Committee’s hearing on the Social Security Disability Insurance program, the Center for American Progress has released a study that reveals the extent to which rising income inequality has affected the solvency of the Social Security trust funds and poses a threat to their long-term financial health. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT

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HELP WANTED: Milwaukee seeks fresh crop of employees to fill transitional jobs

http://fox6now.com/2015/02/11/help-wanted-milwaukee-seeks-fresh-crop-of-employees-to-fill-transitional-jobs/

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The City of Milwaukee is looking to hire a fresh crop of employees — particularly those who might have trouble landing a job elsewhere. However, you’ll need to meet some very specific criteria to qualify.

“I believe very strongly that there’s a positive momentum that comes with work.” – Tom BarrettA small crowd of curious job seeks listened politely on Wednesday, February 11th as city officials explained their push to hire more than a hundred transitional workers. Those jobs only last six months and pay at least $10.10 an hour. But they’re aimed at those who have been down-and-out of late.

“We’re looking at people who have had trouble staying in the workforce because I believe very strongly that there’s a positive momentum that comes with work that once you get back in the workforce then you want to continue working you like that paycheck,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Not just anyone can apply. Individuals interested in applying for the Compete Milwaukee transitional jobs MUST meet the following requirements:

  • Must reside in this geographical area at the time of enrollment: Sherman Boulevard on the West, Silver Spring Drive on the North, Hwy I-43 on the East, and Mitchell Street on the South.
  • Must be 18—64 years old at the time of enrollment.
  • If 24 years of age or older, MUST be the biological, adoptive or primary relative caregiver of a child under the age of 18.
  • Individual must have one of the following: a child support order, a child welfare reunification plan or be an ex-offender.
  • Must have been unemployed for the last four (4) consecutive calendar weeks prior to enrollment.
  • Cannot be receiving W2 benefits and not eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance Compensation.
  • Have an annual household income that is less than 150% of the federal poverty guideline for the household size.

NOTE: Individuals who participated in the Transform Milwaukee Jobs Program are not eligible to participate in Compete Milwaukee.

“One of the number one issues we have is the employment or the unemployment of black and brown males in our community,” said Milwaukee Alderman Willie Wade. “So in order for them to get job opportunities, we need more programs like this.”

The Transitional Jobs Program has been around for a couple of years — and will employ people in a variety of city positions. In the past, that has included things like filling potholes. The goal it to get work history on participants’ resumes so they can land longer term jobs. Officials hope the investment pays off in other ways too.

“When people have their own resources, it’s less likely that they’ll be trying to take resources from other people. So it’s a direct link between unemployment and crime in this city, in cities all around the United States,” said Wade.

For more information, job seekers can call UMOS at 414-389-6000 and visit city.milwaukee.gov/competemilwaukee

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Gallery Night and Open House

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Gallery Night and Open House

Please join us for an evening of art appreciation, music, and socializing. On hand will be local African-American male artists and their individual creations. The level of talent these gentlemen bring to life through a variety of mediums and innovative styles will leave a lasting impression on your heart. Support art, these artists and our community as a whole by attending our event and potentially adding a one-of-a- kind work of art to your home!

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WI DOJ - The Fly Effect - Heroin Prevention Campaign

http://www.doj.state.wi.us/dci/heroin-awareness/fly-effect-heroin-prevention-campaign 

Since 1995, the number of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 who have tried heroin has increased by more than 300%. And according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, more than 75% of people who try heroin once will use the drug again. With numbers like that, we decided to reach out to Wisconsin’s young people before heroin reached them.

In the fall of 2013, the Wisconsin Department of Justice launched a new statewide campaign called The Fly Effect to raise awareness of heroin’s destructive power. In television and radio ads, posters, stickers and more, we’re showing teens how one small decision—the decision to take a hit—can quickly spiral out of control.

For more information about this campaign, please contact the Wisconsin DOJ at 608-266-1221.

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The Crime Report - Learning in Criminal Justice: Small Cases, Big Lessons

http://www.thecrimereport.org/viewpoints/2014-11-learning-in-criminal-justice-small-cases-big-lessons

Jim Dwyer tells this story in The New York Times.

Anthony, a 28 year-old African-American school bus driver with no criminal record, is in the passenger seat of a friend’s car when the police pull it over for a burned-out brake light. The cops search the car, and they find a pipe with marijuana residue in the console. In New York, simple possession of marijuana leads only to a civil violation, but the police describe this pipe as being “open to public view”— so they arrest both men and bump the charges up to misdemeanors.

Because of that charge, Anthony is automatically and immediately suspended from the job he has held for seven years, pending the disposition of the case...

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