'53206 Initiative' works to lower number of black men in prison

CREATED May 27, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - Work continues to stop the cycle of violence on Milwaukee's streets. At St. Matthew Church on the north side, a group called 53206 Initiative met to talk about a massive problem that isn't going away: the skyrocketing rates of black males being incarcerated. 

"We're hoping to prevent that pipeline from high school to prison and stop recidivism and foster jobs," said Reverend Richard Shaw of St. Matthew Church.
 
A recent UWM study found Wisconsin puts more black men behind bars than anywhere else in the country. Two-thirds come from Milwaukee's poorest zip codes.
 
The pastors believe poverty, hopelessness and lack of jobs fuel the endless cycle.
 
"If we can bring opportunity, bring back jobs, bring back employment, bring back a sense of moral obligation, we can actually heal this," said Reverend Willie Brisco president of MICAH.
 
The group plans to canvas door to door next month and throughout the summer to share their ideas with the community.