To: Parole Chairman Dean Stensberg, The Wisconsin State House, and The Wisconsin State Senate
Release Terrance Shaw and allow him to get treatment for his PTSD and become a mentor for others.
Terrance Shaw 138254, OSCI, born 1948, now 66, incarcerated since 1982.
This man is a clear example of why we need to change from a revenge model to believing that people change. Terrance was a Viet Nam War veteran with what would now be called PTSD. His crime was horrendous and also he was horrendously ill . He has been in prison for 32 years on a life sentence. According to the statutes in place at the time , he has been eligible for parole since 1995. He has been absolutely sincere in his attempt to redeem himself and we ask that he be given a second chance.
"When I first came to prison in 1982 I didn't even know my high school fractions, decimals, and percents. But during my first year in prison I got clean and sober and had a Spiritual Awakening. I studied hard for my own personal enrichment to remedy my mathematical deficit and went on to the University of Wisconsin-Extension and got 4-credits in Algebra and 3-credits in Accounting, and became a prison GED math tutor. “ He has also completed a 4 year Bible correspondence course and went on to get his master in Religious studies, doctorate in Bible studies and a PHD in philosophy of religion.
He has been accepted for treatment for his PTSD at a veterans hospital and intends to go on to be one of their mentors. He is very anxious to serve and is one of the most earnestly striving people we know.
Why is this man still in prison? We hold more than 2500 prisoners who are eligible for parole and most are rehabilitated. They have all been in prison more than 15 years and most spent much of that time when there was good programming. Many, like Terrance, hold advanced degrees. Now, largely because of the exorbitant health care costs for these elderly prisoners (and Terrance at 66, has multiple health problems), there is little treatment for the mentally ill and few effective programs for anyone.
We taxpayers want the priorities of the Department of Corrections and Parole Commission to shift focus to rehabilitation and releasing rehabilitated old law prisoners like Terrance Shaw is the place to start. He has a bright future ahead of him and is very anxious to start the PTSD treatment at the Veteran's hospital and to go on to be a mentor to others with PTSD.
Why is this important?
Terrance Shaw is one of the hardest workers I know. He has an opportunity with the Veteran's Hospital to get treatment for the first time for his PTSD and then to take their training to become a mentor for other Viet Nam veterans who are also suffering from this malady. He was one of our compassionate release candidates but was denied. This is another example of the DOC's refusal to take into account the fact that people change.