Menominee activist Ada Deer challenges ballooning prisons

by Nick Vander Puy
Reserve, Wisconsin (LCOTV)

Ada Deer was the first member of the Menominee Nation to graduate from UW-Madison. She was the first woman to chair the Menominee tribe. She has a masters degree in social work from Columbia and served in the Clinton administration from 1993-1997 as head of the BIA.

Last year she retired from running the American Indian studies program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

She's now challenging the overburdened US prison system which is consuming money and people.

Deer says it doesn't make sense that we continuously throw people with alcohol and drug problems into our prisons and do so little to help them overcome their demons and become contributing members of society.

"America has more people in prison than any other industrialized nation in the world."