Joey Merritt # 254016 6-16-2016
Plymouth, WI 53073
Here are two letters that I hope could best explain my situation. One I sent to the sentencing judge and one to the parole board. I am dumbfounded, along with some staff members here at KMCI, about the fact that I received 24 month defer from the parole board when I have no new charges and Two minor conduct reports for having too many oranges and another for not changing my bed sheets on time.. I'm back on revocation for basically a dirty UA and my P0 tired of giving me a ATR. I completed the AODA program here at KMCI on 4-10-15 and now I'm waiting to be transferred to minimum custody.
A brief history...
Back in 1996, I was sentenced to 2 counts of Theft from person as a repeater, for snatching 2 purses. I feel I was sold out by my attorney and the judge in court and was sentenced to 20 yrs two 10 yr terms running consecutive. I seen murderers get less time for killing 2 people.( basically railroaded for a crime I committed while under the influence). I was released in 2000. From 2000-2013 I have no new violent charges but I was revoked for retail theft and 2 possession charges in between those years. I've been on parole for 13 years. Two times that I got revoked they took 3 and a half street credit and extended my discharge: date by 7 years which will put me back to12-2022.
After doing 15 yrs on the first 10, I started the second 10 in 2010. I was revoked in 2013 for telling my P0 I was in Mauston, WI when in fact I was in Milwaukee but didn't want to report to her because I was high on drugs and didn't want to be taking into custody. After 2 days, I reported to my agent and dropped dirty, and now I'm placed into custody.
After two and a half years, (including jail credit) I saw the parole board. I presented a letter from my job stating that if I get paroled, I do have a job waiting for me as a welder. A letter from my family and property owner stating that I was the sole provider for my family, that proved that I was the only one working in my household and proof that I was doing everything positive up until the date I got revoked. I had two minor conduct reports. After showing him all the positive things I had going on in my life, and my completed Modules, he still gave me a lengthy defer of 24 months and stated that he wanted to see me do more time for my crime I committed back in 1996. He also stated that he wasn’t going to consider endorsing me into the AODA program until after my 24month defer was up. He was being rude and considered nothing. He stated he wanted me to do the AODA and CGIP program.
Now that I have completed the AODA program that clearly states that it's a criminal thinking and a coping skill based program along with my PRC papers back from Madison stating that I have a history of completing CGIP phase 1-2 in 1998 and 2012, I wrote the parole board asking for a early hearing. It appears that they over looked it and said that it will be placed in my file when I see them again 8-2016.
There is no appeal process for their decision I feel that now that they have me in the system they have no consideration and no intentions on letting me out anytime soon because a grant is a thing in the past.
I hope you take the time to read and understand my letters and help me with this situation I feel trapped in.
March 19, 2015
Case # 1995cf954923
Judge David Hansher,
My name is Joey Merritt # 254016 and I am currently incarcerated at Kettle Marine Correctional Instruction (Milwaukee County Case No. F954923) back on revocation without a new charge. Back in 1996, you sentenced me to 20 years. 10 in consecutive to a 10 stayed probation for snatching 2 purses once at a gas station and once at a grocery store. While in prison, I obtained a diploma for welding and for blueprint reading. I also obtained a HSED, However; I was released in 2000 and up to this date still have not committed a violent offense.
Sadly, to say that since my release, I have been struggling with my addiction. I have admitted myself into several inpatient treatment programs and have done several locked up at the request of my probation officer. I have been unable to hold a welding job but I have always worked several different ones. I have gone hungry and have gone without food for several days due to the poor decisions I have made do to my addiction. I have, once again, lost the trust of my kids and family while hitting rock bottom several times. I have also destroyed several good relationships and tried committing suicide because I could not stop using. I have accumulated several VOP violations from dropping dirty and sent to MSDF for treatment.
I'm writing you because I went to treatment in 2012 at MSDF and I knew that enough was enough! I had to make a decision either I was going to change my life or die as a addict and I chose to change my life. I knew that I had to try something different so when I completed the AODA program I absconded to Georgia to save my life by being taken away by a drug dealer I owed money too and to try a new life without the temptations of knowing people who use. Therefore, I packed up my family and left.
While there, I got a welding job the 2d I was there and held it down until I was told to report
back to Wisconsin. I also obtained my drivers license, got a car note that I paid off, a S bedroom house in my name in which I was the soul provider of my family because my fiancé couldn't find a job. I also bought a 1 6ft fishing boat and a motorcycle by staying clean. I had several UA tests that proved I was staying clean (my P0 verified everything).
It made me feel proud of myself to see my family eat the food I bought and live under the roof I provided as a man while not breaking any laws. I also paid all the bills. Again (P0 verified).My kids and my family came back into my life saying how proud they was for me finally getting things together but they didn't know I was absconded. I hung around people who were positive and who wanted to see me succeed. I have a sponsor who goes to meetings with me and is guiding me through the 12 steps of Narcotic Anonymous to help me change my way of thinking and to help me deal with the inside issues that's keeping me sick.
I eventually contacted my PO -to -notify her of my whereabouts and she told- me to either turn-myself in or report to Milwaukee and do so. I gathered all my paperwork which contained a letter from my job stating that I passed all UA test and the day I started working which was 5 days after being on absconding status. It also stated that they will hold my position for me until I'm cleared to come back and a letter from my landlord stating that I was the soul provider for my family and that I paid my $900 rent on time each month while my fiancé searched for a job.
Once I reported to Milwaukee, I went directly to my P0 office and turned myself in. She then verified all my paperwork and decided to release me back to Georgia saying the she was floored that after all this time we finally found something that worked. So after catching the bus back to Georgia, I was at work 2 months later when I was told, that Georgia denied my interstate because I gained residency while on absconding status and that my paperwork was done incorrectly. I had to put down everything and caught .the bus back to Wisconsin again. My P0 said that she would resubmit my Interstate compact again once I got back. I told my PO that I didn't feel confident on staying clean in Milwaukee and could she please take me into custody so I wouldn't use as a safety net but she said no because I'm not being revoked. My P0, her supervisor, myself, as well as my family, knew that Milwaukee was a bad place for me at the time but they failed to help me when we knew what the outcome was going to be. It is sad to say that I did not last a week before I relapsed. My P0 revoked me saying that that was my last chance.
I have been revoked 3 times since my release in 2000 in which 2 times they took 3and a half years street credit and made me do it over. Once in 2007 and once in 2013 this is a total of 7 extra years. I've been dealing with this 20 year sentence for 20 years and when I discharge it will be 28 years on that 20.
After doing 2 and half years on the 2nd 10 year stayed, I seen the Parole Board with 2 minor tickets. I received a 24 month defer in which I did not receive when I first committed this crime back in 1995. They are treating me worst now than before and I am back on revocation without a new charge. His only reason for that lengthy defer was that he wanted to see me do more time for my crime that I committed in 1995. There is no more early parole in which you is aware of because you stated in the Milwaukee Journal "you gave lengthy sentences because you knew that we wouldn't serve all of it" but that's not the case anymore
My 2 social workers I had and the PRC committee all agreed that the 24-month defer was extensive for a person who was back on revocation without a new charge. However: I seen PRC on 1-10-15 and they agreed, without the Parole Board's recommendation, to override my defer and send me to a work release camp after I complete the AODA program I'm in which ends on 4-10-15.
I recently received a letter from my job back in Georgia saying that they still have my job but unsure of how much longer they can hold it. I showed it to the Parole Board but it went unnoticed. I have a beautiful family and a 13-year-old daughter I am raising waiting for my return back to Georgia so I could get back to the life that is working for me.
I am asking you to please give me time serve on this case so I could move back to Georgia and be with my family. I will not be returning to Wisconsin for any reasons.P1ease consider what I am saying and—I pray That you will help me in this matter.- --- - -
Joey Merritt #254016 4-15-2015
P.O.Box 282 Case # 95cf-954923
Plymouth, Wisconsin Case # 96cf960609
My name is Joey Merritt # 254016 and I am currently incarcerated at KMCI.. Back in 1996, I was sentenced to 20 years. 10 yrs with a consecutive 10 year stayed for Theft from Person as a repeater (2 purse snatchings). I am back on revocation. I started this 10 year (stayed) back in 2010 and got revoked 7-29 2013 because my P0 said she was tired of giving me ATR'S for dropping dirty in which I'm back for now. If you look at my 8 allegations she used to revoke me, they are the same for using drugs except for 3 in which 2 of those are the same also. NO NEW CHARGES.
After 2and a half yrs on this 10 I am serving now, back in September of 2014, I seen the parole board with 2 minor tickets and received a 24 month defer. My2 social workers I had along with Ms Parr, from PRC, all agreed that the 24-month defer was quite excessive for a person who is back on revocation with no new charges. The Parole Commissioner's excuse for such a long defer was that he wanted to see me do more time for my crime I committed back in 1995 and he wanted me to complete the AODA program along with CGIP in which I have completed CGIP 3 times which is documented.
I am writing you because now that I have completed the AODA program, which covers CGIP, on 4-10-15, I am asking for an early recall in hopes of being considered for parole. I have done several things to better myself like completing the Self Study modules and most of the reentry pre- release competency modules. I go to all the AA meetings and I am being monitored by Psych services for 90 days because I am trying to better myself so I no longer take Psych medication, which is a huge bonus for me. I dropped down from a MH2 to a MH 0 meaning that I no longer have mental issues.
I seen PRC in January of 2015 and Ms. Parr said that if I complete the AODA program she would send me to a work camp. I received a 90-day recall so I see them again in May of 2015. I completed the AODA, seen PRC, and was approved to go to a minimum by Madison, as I'm awaiting transfer.
After I failed for 13 years trying to stay clean, I ended up at MSDF in 2013. I knew that I had to do something different to better myself because just treatment was not working for me so I decided to try a new life with a new location where I didn't know anybody to lessen my temptations. After completing the AODA program and with my life being in danger for owing drug dealer money, I fled to Georgia taking my family with me.
While in Georgia, I worked for a company called Steel LLC. I stayed clean working that job in which I obtained the 2' day of being there; I got certified as a welder through the
State of Georgia at that same company specializing in out of position welding and fabrication.
I had drug screen results that proved that I was tested for drugs at that job and that I was staying clean. I have a sponsor I deal with daily who goes to AA meetings with me and who is helping me work the 12 steps of recovery to lelp change my thought process.
I also obtained my driver's license, a car that I paid for, a letter from my landlord stating that I was the sole provider for my family and that I paid all the bills. (all things verified by P0 agent).
After a month on absconding status, I called my Agent to notified her of my whereabouts and I was told that I had to turn myself in or report back to Wisconsin and do so in which I did bringing along all my paperwork and references showing that I was doing all the right things and changing for the better.
My P0, as well as her supervisor, was impressed about how well I was doing in Georgia and that we finally found something that worked that they decided to send me back with a emergency interstate.
Providing we thought the interstate would be approved, I was released from MSDF and was told that I could go back to Georgia. I caught the bus back and after working for Two weeks, I was told that Georgia had denied my interstate saying that my paperwork was done incorrectly and that I established residency while on absconding status and it had to be re-submitted correctly so I had to catch the bus back to Wisconsin once again. I informed my P0 that I did not feel comfortable being in Milwaukee and staying clean at that time so could she please take me into custody when I returned while she resubmitted my paperwork. She said no because I was not being revoked! My P0, her supervisor, my family, as well as myself, all knew that Milwaukee was a bad place for me. However, they did nothing to help. I caught the bus back to Milwaukee again with no choice but to stay in the same area where I used. Sony to say, I did not last a week before I relapsed, therefore; I was revoked by my agent saying she was tired of giving me ATR's for treatment and that was my last chance.
I am asking for a early parole hearing so I could go back to Georgia, with a interstate, and be with my family and my 14 yr old daughter who needs me. I recently received a letter from my job stating that they will still hire me but they cannot say how long that offer will stand. I know that I have not been the perfect role model on probation since 2000 with 4 misdemeanor charges streaming from my addiction, however; I think I have finally found something that works for me. I have completed the AODA program 4-10-15 at KMCI and I feel that being released back into the community at this time would prove to be rewarding. Madison approved me to go to minimum as I await transfer.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I thank you ahead of time for your appropriate decision dealing with this letter.