Contact: Courtney Beyer, [email protected]
Today, a new report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows that taxpayers have already shelled out $20.6 million to cover the legal bills surrounding Scott Walker’s mismanagement of the state’s juvenile prison complex.
From the report:
Lawsuits over the problems at Wisconsin’s juvenile prison complex have cost the state $20.6 million so far, and those costs will continue to rise— possibly by large sums if some cases aren’t resolved in the state’s favor.
…The legal fees and settlements come on top of an $80 million plan by Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers to close Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls by 2021 and replace them with regional facilities for teen inmates.
In all, the problems at the complex north of Wausau and the decision to close it have cost the state more than $100 million.
This latest news comes after a barrage of Republican criticism for Walker’s handling of the crisis at Lincoln Hills. Earlier this week, Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald said he was “very disappointed” with how the state has dealt with what he called “a mess.” Several weeks ago, Assembly Leader Robin Vos said he was “shocked” that Walker refuses to even visit a Wisconsin prison.
“Scott Walker’s incompetence and neglect are costing the state millions and Wisconsin taxpayers should be outraged,” said DPW Spokeswoman Courtney Beyer. “Walker refused to take responsibility for the problems in Wisconsin’s criminal justice system and it’s only getting worse. He’s had years to prove he can control the situation, and it’s obvious he’s not up to the task.”