Madison, WI – State Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) voted in favor of funding a new youth detention facility today, facilitating the final closure of Lincoln Hills. The existing juvenile facility operates in northern Wisconsin.
“Years ago, Wisconsin Republicans led the charge on closing Lincoln Hills,” Rep. Born said. “We brought forward legislation, Wisconsin Act 185, in response to reports of dangerous conditions for both staff and youth at the facility. While Governor Evers has failed to finish the job, the action we are taking today will finally resolve the ongoing challenges at our state’s troubled youth correctional institution.”
The bill passed today will fund the creation of a new juvenile prison facility in Milwaukee. The majority of youth currently residing at Lincoln Hills are from Milwaukee County. Advocates for the legislation have argued these youth need to be closer to their support system, in order to successfully rehabilitate and reduce the likelihood of recidivism post-detention.
“It’s disappointing that Governor Evers has failed to provide a reasonable plan for relocating these youth that is acceptable to the local communities,” Rep. Born added. “Instead, he went with his usual ‘go-it-alone’ approach and proposed sites that were met with severe opposition by stakeholders and local communities. Our action today makes meaningful progress towards closing Lincoln Hills by funding a site in Milwaukee County, while requiring the approval of the local residents.”
Senate Bill 520 passed the State Senate earlier this month. The Assembly passed an amended version of the bill, which will return to the State Senate for approval before going to the Governor’s desk for approval.