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This piece was produced for the NEW News Lab, a local news collaboration in Northeast Wisconsin.

Microsoft is providing financial support to the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region to fund the initiative.

Civil judgment — A civil ruling against a person requiring satisfaction of financial obligations. In criminal cases, sometimes issued after a person has failed to pay fines, fees, surcharges or restitution by the original deadline. 

Court costs — Court-related expenses that a defendant must pay. Wisconsin levies numerous fees, including filing fees and surcharges including for DNA collection, to support court operations and help pay for the state Crime Lab. Wisconsin lists its fees, forfeitures, fines and surcharges online. Due to mandatory court costs, a person who received a $10 fine would have to pay at least $465.60 for a misdemeanor and $540.60 for a felony.

Fine — A criminal sanction that requires a person to pay a specific amount of money for the crime committed. Payment goes to the governmental unit that prosecuted the crime. 

Furlough — An authorized absence from a prison or jail. In Outagamie County, furloughs are authorized by the court, and the lengths of these absences may vary. An inmate on furlough is required to adhere to certain conditions. Furloughs may be granted for situations such as funerals or family emergencies. 

Judgment of conviction — A concluding “guilty” judgment and the resulting punishment that is imposed in a case.

Probation — A period of court-ordered community supervision after conviction in lieu of incarceration. In Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections supervises probation. Probation includes standard rules from the DOC, and may also include limitations or requirements set by the court and probation agent. If terms of the probation are violated, the probation may be revoked and the person may be required to return to court for sentencing or to serve the sentence originally imposed by the court. 

Probation revocation —The cancellation of probation after probation terms are violated. Typically followed by sentencing or the imposition of a previously issued sentence.

Restitution — A penalty that requires a person to pay a victim for loss, damage or injury relating to their case.

Sentencing after revocation — Takes place after terms of probation are violated and probation is terminated to determine what types of sanctions or penalties a person must now face. Only occurs if a sentence was not previously imposed and stayed while a person served probation.

Stay — The act of halting a legal proceeding through the order of a court or judge. Wisconsin law generally limits stays of a sentence to 60 days, placing them on probation with the state Department of Corrections or for “legal cause” — a term that remains poorly defined in Wisconsin.

Information comes from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the Wisconsin Circuit System website, the Outagamie County website, the State Bar of Wisconsin website, state statutes and interviews with legal experts.

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Madeline Fuerstenberg / Wisconsin Watch and WPR

Madeline Fuerstenberg joined Wisconsin Watch in June 2021. She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a bachelors degree in journalism. Throughout her career, she has interned with The Cambridge News & Deerfield Independent, served as editor-in-chief of UW-Eau Claire's student-run newspaper, The Spectator, wrote for The Chippewa Valley Post and interned with WQOW News 18. Her work includes international coverage of Holocaust research in Lithuania. Fuerstenberg has been awarded two Wisconsin Newspaper Association awards. She is the recipient of the 2020 Ann Devroy Fellowship, which includes a short internship with the Washington Post that she will complete in the fall. Fuerstenberg is based out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and her journalistic areas of interest include politics and racial justice.

Phoebe Petrovic / Wisconsin Watch and WPR

Phoebe Petrovic joined Wisconsin Watch in 2019 as a Report for America corps member. She is leading creation of an investigative podcast examining police and prosecutorial misconduct in Wisconsin. She formerly served as a general assignment reporter at Wisconsin Public Radio through the Lee Ester News Fellowship and, prior to that, was an editorial radio intern at “Reveal” from the Center for Investigative Reporting. She also worked as a producer for NPR’s “Here & Now” and a reporter for WCPN ideastream, Northeast Ohio’s NPR member station. Petrovic earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale University, where she founded and led audio projects including Herald Audio, the first-ever audio section of an undergraduate publication, and “Small-Great Objects,” the first-ever podcast series installed at Yale University Art Gallery.