The United States has the most prisoners of any nation in the world both in raw numbers and by percentage of the population. These numbers are further compounded within Milwaukee’s mostly African-American 53206 ZIP code, where 62% of adult men have spent time in prison, making it the most incarcerated ZIP code in the nation.
MILWAUKEE 53206 tells the story of those affected by mass incarceration in America’s most incarcerated ZIP code. Through the powerful journeys of Beverly Walker, Dennis Walton and Chad Wilson we witness how incarceration has shaped their lives, their families and their community. These intimate stories reveal how a community fights to move forward even as a majority of its young men end up in prison. The film examines how decades of poverty, unemployment, and a lack of opportunity has contributed to the crisis of mass incarceration in this community and communities across the nation.
Beverly Walker’s husband, Baron, has been incarcerated for 21-years for two ‘party-to-a-crime’ armed robberies where nobody was hurt. Caught between changing parole laws in Wisconsin, he should have been released years ago. But given the injustice, Beverly tirelessly advocates for his release while keeping their family together.
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, but faces extreme challenges when over half of its young men are imprisoned.
Chad Wilson was released after spending 15-years in-and-out of the criminal justice system. A graduate of the Milwaukee Fatherhood program while serving time, Chad has committed himself to self-reform and is seeking a second chance in life. But his past continues to haunt him at every turn as he struggles to find employment and provide for his children.
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.