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Racine man seeks to change criminal justice system

Posted: 6:21 PM, Feb 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-20 00:21:16Z

Everybody has a story to tell, and for Carl Fields his story story involves years behind bars and rehabilitation.

"I had a run-in with police here in Racine almost 20 years ago now. I shot at them and they shot back. It was a real tumultuous scenario. I did a lot of time in prison because of that," said Fields.

Carl spent 16 years in prison and is on extended supervision until 2033.

Carl, now a program manager at Racine's Hospitality Center is using his story to bring about change within the criminal justice system.

Carl said there are many issues when it comes to prison reform. One of them being racial disparities within the system.

According to the most recent census of the 5 million people that live in Wisconsin, six percent are African American. But according to the Department of Corrections Inmate Profile, African Americans make over 43 percent of the inmates.

"How does this happen? The narrative that tries to explain that is those are all the people that commit the crimes...but then you look at the contrasting numbers people white, black or brown are utilizing drugs at the same rate and yet there is a disparity of how they arrest incarcerated," said Fields.

Fields is now a leader of a program called EXPO Incarcerated People Organizing, their goal is to end mass incarceration and help others who were just released. Fields hopes by shedding light on the issues state leaders will take a look at ways to improve and change the system.

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