The state of Wisconsin has not provided any support to the recently exonerated Joseph Frey, released from prison on July 12 where he had been incarcerated since 1994 for a rape he didn’t commit. The Associated Press reports:
“I’m transient,” said Frey, who is staying at the homeless shelter at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison. “I have no health coverage. Nothing.”
Wisconsin Innocence Project
attorney Tricia Bushnell, who helped get Frey exonerated, said the state doesn’t provide social services like they would for someone released on a mandatory release date.
Over half of the states, including Wisconsin, have some kind of statue compensating the wrongfully convicted. However, Wisconsin’s law ranks among the worst of these laws, providing a maximum of $25,000 regardless of the term of wrongful imprisonment.
The Innocence Project recommends that states provide a minimum of $50,000 per year of wrongful conviction as well as immediate services including housing, transportation, education, workforce development, physical and mental health care through the state employee’s health care system and other transitional services, yet very few states do so. Exonerees who do receive compensation wait an average of three years for the resources.