Sen. Cowles: Petition to close GBCI receives over 1,000 signatures

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles ~ (920) 660-0615

Recently approved state audit can support GBCI closure effort

GREEN BAY– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after attending a press conference at Allouez Village Hall announcing the collection of over 1,000 signatures to close the Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI):

“Today, the community support from the citizens of Allouez and throughout the greater Green Bay area have shown in this petition how strongly residents and community leaders feel about the closure of the Green Bay Correctional Institution.

“The Green Bay Correctional Institution is in disrepair. Maintenance and upkeep at GBCI is costing millions of dollars, and with the facility being over-capacity, ensuring guard and inmate safety isn’t cheap or easy. The Institution has served the state exceptionally well for over 100 years, but it’s now time to move on.

“As Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, I’ve advocated for an audit of corrections costs which was approved in a unanimous vote last month. I’m anticipating that this report will be available by early next year and that this audit will complement the findings from a separate report soon to be released by the Department of Corrections on current and future infrastructure needs.

“This audit will take a microscope to the trends in expenditures, factors that drive costs, inmate health care expenses, and how investments in correctional institutions can foster future savings. Having accurate and up to date information regarding day-to-day operational budgets will give lawmakers the information necessary to make decisions regarding the future of corrections in Wisconsin.

“As my local legislative colleagues and I prepare for 2019, I believe audit findings along with the petition from the citizens of Brown County and other corrections reports will prove that the Green Bay Correctional Institution’s closure should be a priority in the next budget.”

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