[MILWAUKEE,WI] – On Sunday, January 22, 2023, yet another person was found dead in Milwaukee County Jail. The incarcerated person, Octaviano Juarez-Corro, was described as unrevivable by medical personnel and declared dead at 6:45 a.m. The circumstances leading up to his death remain under investigation.
While some media outlets have focused on Juarez-Corro’s criminal background, that should not distract from the fact that his death continues an unnerving trend in Milwaukee County Jail of suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of people in custody. Since 2008, at least 17 people have died while in the sheriff’s custody. Regardless of a person’s background, these kinds of deaths should not be occurring at such an alarming rate in Milwaukee County Jail.
With all of these deaths in Milwaukee County Jail, there has also been a lack of transparency and accountability from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Why have there been so many deaths in the Milwaukee County Jail? And what is MCSO planning to do about it? MCSO has repeatedly blamed staffing shortages, but they continue to increase the amount of money they take from the Milwaukee County Budget each year. MCSO and the County Board of Supervisors need to address and change the overall conditions of Milwaukee County Jail. Blaming the deaths on staffing shortages ignores how the overall conditions at Milwaukee County Jail need robust changes – changes that Sheriff Ball promised but is yet to deliver.
The need for transparency and accountability has been a driving force behind the Justice for Brieon Green Coalition, created after the death of Brieon Green in Milwaukee County Jail in June of 2022. The Milwaukee Alliance is a participating organization in The Brieon Green Coalition . Like many other deaths in Milwaukee County jail, Brieon’s death was preventable. The Coalition has members that agree to points of unity/aims for the coalition. These points of unity/aims are:
- Justice for Brieon (as the family sees fit)
- Full transparency in the investigation of Milwaukee County jail deaths
- When a death occurs the names of all guilty parties are released within 24 hours, and all footage related to the event are to be released within 48 hours (24/48)
- An elected Civilian Police Accountability Council now!
The work that the Justice for Brieon Green Coalition does, like fighting for these policy reforms, may help to prevent future deaths in the jail. We will continue to support all those who join us in the fight for transparency and accountability from MCSO. No more deaths in Milwaukee County Jail!
The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (MAARPR) campaigns against police crimes committed primarily against the poor and Black, Indigenous, and people of color. We demand the creation of a civilian police accountability council, or CPAC, to ensure that our community is in direct control of our police force.