Rep. Bowen: Statement on public hearing re: suburban Republican prevention last bill package

Contact: Rep. David Bowen                                                                                                  (608) 266-7671

MILWAUKEE – Today, the Assembly Committee on Corrections held a 6-hour public hearing on a package of bills proposed by suburban Republicans that would incarcerate more youth for longer periods of time, take the focus off of prevention and evidence-based solutions, and increase costs to counties. Rep. David Bowen, the ranking Democratic member of the Committee, released the following statement:

“The bills we heard today would move the state in a terrible direction for both youth and adult populations. Regardless of the offense committed, the Republican Prevention Last legislation takes a one-size-fits-all approach, revoking supervision and re-incarcerating anyone who commits any crime, regardless of severity, while on supervision,” said Bowen.

“This shortsighted, poorly researched assortment of legislation does not take into account evidence-based practices that show education and treatment in or near one’s home community is the best approach to restoring troubled youth and ensuring a positive transition back into their communities. Instead, this legislation would increase the likelihood of Wisconsinites getting stuck in the expensive revolving door of the corrections system, whether as youth or as adults.

“Further, this careless approach to legislating ignores the fact that so many youth incarcerated under the failed system that Republicans have embraced experienced significant trauma as kids including neglect, physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse,” said Bowen. “Any of us who have been paying attention have learned about the clear science that shows adverse childhood experiences can be corrected with trauma informed care. It’s disappointing that my Republican colleagues want to ignore that science to make a “tough on crime” political statement that will do the opposite of what they claim: more crime, more victims, more cost to taxpayers, and more failure for our communities.”

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