Contact: LaTonya Johnson

Madison, Wisconsin – Wisconsin State Senator LaTonya Johnson (D – Milwaukee) released the following statement regarding 2017 Senate Bill 35 – legislation she authored with Wisconsin State Representative Joel Kleefisch (R – Oconomowoc) which requires juvenile correctional officers to report suspected child abuse and neglect – being signed into law by Governor Scott Walker today:

“In Wisconsin, we have kids attempting suicide and correctional workers experiencing vicious assaults in our juvenile correctional facilities. Requiring juvenile correctional officers to be mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect is a common-sense measure that will create much-needed accountability and help aid in the safety of both juvenile offenders and staff.

“I believe this legislation is a small but important tool that will help break the culture of silence and subject those who fail to report suspected child abuse and neglect to criminal penalties. However, we have a long way to go to ensure the safety of children and staff in our juvenile facilities.

“It’s far past time that we get serious about reforming our juvenile correctional system. I look forward to working with my colleagues on additional measures to improve the safety and security of youth and staff in our juvenile facilities and ultimately improve outcomes for our children who encounter the justice system in Wisconsin.” 

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