The United States has the most prisoners of any nation in the world both in absolute numbers and per capita. These numbers are further compounded within Milwaukee’s mostly African-American 53206 ZIP code, where 62% of adult Black men are currently in prison or have served time.
Through the intimate stories of three 53206 residents, MILWAUKEE 53206 chronicles the high toll that excessive and racially-biased jail sentences have on individuals and families. The film examines Milwaukee’s ZIP code 53206 and illuminates the story of people from across the United States who live with the daily effects of unfair and excessively long jail sentences.
Beverly Walker’s husband, Baron, has been incarcerated for 21-years for two ‘party-to-a-crime’ armed robberies – where no one was physically harmed. Caught between changing parole laws in Wisconsin, he should have been released years ago. As a result, Beverly has been tirelessly advocating for his release while keeping together their family of five children and extended relatives.
Dennis Walton is the co-director of Milwaukee’s Fatherhood Initiative who, after having his own experiences with the justice system, reformed his life and began to advocate and build community initiatives to support men, parenting and families of those who are experiencing incarceration. Dennis fights to build the 53206 community in the face of extreme challenges with over half of its young men imprisoned.
Chad Wilson was released after spending 15 years in-and-out of the criminal justice system. While serving time, he completed the Milwaukee Fatherhood program and has committed himself to self-reform in order to create a second chance in life. Nevertheless, discriminatory hiring practices make it difficult for former prisoners to find gainful employment.
In MILWAUKEE 53206 we witness the high toll and devastating effects incarceration has on a community through these stories. They reflect a way of life of millions of households across the nation living during this tragic and uniquely American era of mass incarceration.
MILWAUKEE 53206 is presented by Transform Films Inc., a documentary production company that tells stories of hope, compassion and the quest for a more just world. Transform Film’s titles include Newtown, After Fire and Serving Life. Director/Producer Keith McQuirter is an award winning producer and director with credits in TV documentary, new media and commercials. He co-produced the first season of the five-part Peabody Award winning and Prime Time Emmy nominated docu-series Brick City for the Sundance Channel.