MILWAUKEE — The ACLU of Wisconsin today criticized reported plans by the Wisconsin State Assembly plans to abandon efforts to close two state-run youth prisons — Lincoln Hills School and Copper Lake — for the remainder of this year’s legislative session.

“We are deeply disappointed by the Wisconsin State Assembly’s reported plans to refuse to close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Schools  – especially because the Legislature committed to closing the facilities in 2018, and because it has been widely agreed to that the facilities need to be closed, said Karyn Rotker, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Wisconsin. “The state needs to live up to its commitment to bring these young people closer to home, where they can receive the programs and services they really need.”

“Keeping these facilities open is also a poor use of tax dollars. There are so few youth left there that the daily cost per youth is more than $1100. Those tax dollars can and should be put to far better use into alternatives that support meaningful healing, rather than causing further harm,”said Kate Burdick, senior attorney with the Juvenile Law Center.

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