MADISON – Today Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) introduced bi-partisan juvenile justice reform legislation requiring the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) to study and report on the implementation of the “Missouri Model” of incarcerating juveniles.

Recently, this promising juvenile justice model has been highlighted in Wisconsin by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In response to the recent growing interest in the “Missouri Model,” Rep. Goyke stated:

“Our current model of incarcerating children does not work. One large institution, hours away from the State’s largest population center, has led to unacceptable outcomes and unsustainable costs. The cost of incarcerating a child at Lincoln Hills is enormous. The recidivism rate for incarcerated youth is alarmingly high.

Reduced recidivism means reduced crime. By utilizing smaller facilities closer to home, this model has produced better outcomes at a lower cost. The adoption of a new model will increase community and facility safety and decrease recidivism by creating a better secure environment for jailed children in Wisconsin.”

Following the bill’s introduction, Sen. Larson said, “It is crucial that Wisconsin invest in policies that help each of our children have a successful future, including when young people in our community encounter the justice system. Traditional correctional programs often cause further harm, diminishing the chance of success for our youth. For safer, healthier families and communities, Wisconsin must change its culture of corrections.”

This legislation is now referred to a legislative standing committee for consideration.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email