We focus on preentry (preparation before reentry) and true outreach (beyond the choir) to foster and promote the successes, humanity, and agency of people with criminal records.
Our preentry inreach consists of three newsletters, read by close to half the Wisconsin prison population and some in the federal system. Our The Community newsletter consists of decarceration news, resources, and insights. Our Keep Moving Forward newsletter consists of personal development tools and commentary designed specifically for people who are incarcerated. And our financial health newsletter is created in partnership with the Urban Economic Development Association. We are also very excited about our new project with industry and business partners to create a variety of career literature and assistance to help those in prison prepare for careers they actually have an interest in and an aptitude for, and for which there are less legal, financial, and bureaucratic obstacles in their way. It will be a customized approach to career preparation for those incarcerated that has neither happened before or is possible without our direct and constant connections to those inside.
Our outreach consists of the Correct the Narrative Campaign, which focuses on people and communities who are more indifferent and antagonistic to people with criminal records and the immense need for decarceration/justice reform in America. Visit our Correct the Narrative Campaign page for more info and videos from events and interviews that illuminate so powerfully why the fears and biases surrounding people who break the law need to be corrected.
And contact us if you want to get involved in decarceration efforts so we can help you figure out what organizations and activities to get involved in, or if you simply want to learn more about this expansive problem.
I just wanted to thank you for all the help The Community gives those in prison in regards to everything. Because if it wasn’t for the help we get from The Community we honestly wouldn’t know what was going on in here. Thank You.
How You Can Help
We need you and those incarcerated to help us stay informed on decarceration news and prison conditions around the country. If you have info, resources, ideas, connections, feedback (esp. constructive criticism) PLEASE send it our way so we can share it with our network and use it to improve our efforts. And we are always looking to connect with passionate people who understand that the health of a society is far more than the people and environment we interact with daily. What we promote grows and grows beyond our control. So what virtues and type of justice do we want to promote?
We accept donations via PayPal, Cash App ($thecommunitynow), Venmo ($thecommunitynow), or checks/money orders sent to The Community, Box 100392, Milwaukee, WI. Keep moving forward.
PayPal Donations Accepted
Shannon served 17 years in prison in Wisconsin for a massively stupid act of revenge when he was a teenager. He created The Community in 2014 and has run it ever since with the invaluable help of friends and family while finishing his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Upon his release in September 2020, he began a fellowship as a grad student at UW-Milwaukee and a community fellow with the Wisconsin Decarceration Platform. He is also a member of Reentry Rising MKE and Unlock Higher Ed. To learn more about his accomplishments and media interviews visit his LinkedIn page below. Or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ann Knoedler is a retired newspaper reporter and the mother of Shannon Ross. She is also the Vice President of the Uptown Crossing Neighborhood Association and manages a community garden in Milwaukee.
Jim is a polymath and former librarian who recently obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree. He spent seven years in the Wisconsin prison system.
La Shae Warren
La Shae Warren is a Customer Service professional and has a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. She has years of experience enduring the hardships of supporting and communicating with a loved one in prison.