Mishelle O'Shasky Founder

Mishelle O'Shasky

Mishelle has worked with individuals with mental illness, substance use, and criminal justice lived experience since 2010. Mishelle has been a tireless advocate for reentry support and mentoring since her release from prison in 2010 after three incarcerations. She spent over twenty-two years in the system (incarcerated and/or on supervision). Not until her third incarceration was she able to successfully reintegrate into the community. Peer support and access to services was a major component to her success. Mishelle is a subject matter expert  as she lived experience of the Wisconsin Criminal Justice system and is now a successful business owner and statewide advocate for criminal justice policy change and improvements that increase the quality of life. She has "been there, done that."  

Advocacy and Leadership

Gubernatorial appointment to the Wisconsin Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), serving as a Council member and a person with the lived experience of the criminal justice system-2017

Wisconsin Criminal Justice Coordination Committee Treatment and Alternative Diversion Courts – serving as a committee member of the Treatment Alternative Diversion Courts – 2014

Evidenced Based Decision Making (EBDM)Phase VI Workgroup: EDBM Responses to Violations as well as the EBDM Diversion/Enhance Behavior Change Interventions-2016

Gubernatorial appointment to the Wisconsin Council on Mental Health (WCMH),  serving as the Council Chairperson-2013

State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA),  serving as the Ex-Officio to the WCMH Chairperson-2014

WCMH - Criminal Justice Committee, serving as the Committee Chairperson – 2011  

Jennifer Downey Co-Founder

Recovery from addiction is possible. One proven way for recovery to be sustaining, is the principle of existing only to serve. When an addict escapes the haze infused obsession, and the terror filled compulsion, all of which results in a self-will run riot, and the soul shattering desperation, which overshadows it all. That desperation, i.e., desire, leads to surrender, that surrender leads to power of recovery. That power can only be ultimately sustained through helping others find their way through their haze and terror.

Jennifer holds this principle in the forefront of her existence. In return she has, strong long-term recovery.   

Jennifer is a person who is first and foremost passionately dedicated to her own personal recovery. She is a very active member of her recovery community and holds positions within that community to better serve others in their recovery process. She is a Treatment Court graduate and is currently working with the current participants in a mentoring role. She has put in some very hard work to establish her recovery support system, and continues to do so on a daily basis. She has overcome many obstacles in her journey and has successfully built a life that she is proud of. She offers a very compassionate level of empathy and perspective to others, her ability to see the whole picture with non-judgmental and accepting eyes is what gives her the ability to advise, mentor and advocate. Her passion for helping others is what drives her, and saves her. 

In the last few years, our societies preconception, and prejudice, regarding addiction has shifted.  Even at the highest levels of government, has acknowledged an addiction epidemic in our nation. “Drug Courts” have been set up nationwide as an alternative to deal with this epidemic.

As these systems have evolved, there is a recognized need for people with life experience and sustained recovery to be an integral part of this system. Jennifer is one those integral parts.

"The truth of the matter is addiction is killing people. The statistics are self-evident. A paradigm shift in our society is sorely needed." 

Community Business Matters January 15th, 2018

The Reentry Associates LLC Founder, Mishelle O'Shasky debuts on the Wisconsin Rapids Community Business Matters Show, January 15th, 2018.