‘Ghost of Stanley’ haunts Green Bay-area prison proposal

Rep. David Steffen is spending part of his time fighting the “ghost of Stanley” as he pitches a bill that would let a private company build a new prison in the Green Bay area that the state would then lease and operate. Steffen, R-Green Bay, says he often gets questions about how his bill is different than the process Wisconsin took with the Stanley Correctional Institution. The state had to pump … Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options. Username

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ACLU asks federal judge to halt ‘excessive’ use of solitary confinement

The ACLU today asked a federal judge to halt the state’s “excessive” use of solitary confinement, pepper spray and physical restraints at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons in northern Wisconsin. The motion for a preliminary judgment seeks to limit the use of all three to “rare and temporary responses to prevent imminent and serious physical harm to persons.” A Department of Correctio… Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options.

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Dems introduce bill limiting solitary confinement for those with mental illness

Three Milwaukee Dems introduced a bill today that would limit the number of days a person with a serious mental illness could be placed solitary confinement. The bill, authored by Sen. LaTonya Johnson and Reps. David Crowley and David Bowen, would keep inmates with serious mental illnesses from solitary confinement for more than 10 days. Prisons would also be required to give a mental health evalu… Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options.

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Dems highlight bill on independent investigations for inmates’ deaths

A bill that would require that an inmate’s death in the custody of a correctional officer receives an independent investigation would increase transparency in the state’s jails, three Milwaukee Dems said today. The bill, from Sens. Chris Larson, Fred Risser, Reps. David Crowley and David Bowen, would extend a 2014 law that calls for independent investigations of law enforcement-related deaths. It … Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options.

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Dems criticize Corrections as Litscher testifies at JFC

JFC Dems today hammered at the Department of Corrections, though they credited Secretary Jon Litscher for making significant progress on several issues. Litscher highlighted some of those improvements, particularly in improving staff training, verbal de-escalation of incidents and boosting psychological offerings at its two main youth facilities: Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. The two are undergoi… Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options.

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Assembly holds hearings on three drunken driving bills

Legislation aimed to tighten penalties for drunken drivers received strong support in an Assembly hearing today. Rep. Jim Ott, co-author of the three bills, said the legislation would help make drunken driving laws “more consistent with the seriousness of the offense.” Two of the three bills would create tougher consequences for driving drunk: AB 99 would increase the minimum incarceration for fif… Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options.

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Increased accountability hoped for through more body camera use in state’s prisons

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to expand the use of body cameras in state prisons is drawing support from some of his critics, though they also say it’s not a perfect solution to preventing abuse. The state is already using body cameras for security staff at its two main juvenile facilities: Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. But Walker’s budget proposal would bring them to Department of Corrections off… Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options.

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Senate approves requiring juvenile correctional officers to report suspected child abuse

The state Senate voted today to add juvenile correctional officers to the list of professionals who must report suspected child abuse even as Dems said it was an inadequate step to address problems at youth prisons in northern Wisconsin. SB 35, approved via voice vote, was proposed following reports of mistreatment of juvenile offenders at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. It requires juvenile correctional officers to report suspicions of child abuse they see in their professional duties. Those who fail to do so would be subject to criminal penalties. State Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, said it was only a first

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Litscher says Corrections’ treatment of juvenile offenders has improved

Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher told lawmakers today his agency has dramatically revamped its treatment of juvenile offenders, implementing a wide range of “changes that have not been written about.” Litscher, who led the agency between 1999 and 2003, was brought back last year amid media reports detailing examples of the prison staff mistreating juvenile offenders, including one … Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options.

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‘UpFront’: Vukmir to seek audit of DOC’s offender supervision practices in Milwaukee Co.

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, said she would be seeking an audit of the Department of Corrections as part of a package of crime “victim-prevention” bills she is co-authoring with Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin, and Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine. Vukmir appeared Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com. Vukmir said the lawmak… Please log in to access subscriber content. If you don’t have a subscription, click here for a WisPolitics free trial and to view the different subscription options.

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Dems criticize Corrections as Litscher testifies at JFC

JFC Dems today hammered at the Department of Corrections, though they credited Secretary Jon Litscher for making significant progress on several issues. Litscher highlighted some of those improvements, particularly in improving staff training, verbal de-escalation of incidents and boosting psychological offerings at its two main youth facilities: Lincoln Hills and

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Assembly holds hearings on three drunken driving bills

Legislation aimed to tighten penalties for drunken drivers received strong support in an Assembly hearing today. Rep. Jim Ott, co-author of the three bills, said the legislation would help make drunken driving laws “more consistent with the seriousness of the offense.” Two of the three bills would create tougher consequences

Read More »

Litscher says Corrections’ treatment of juvenile offenders has improved

Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher told lawmakers today his agency has dramatically revamped its treatment of juvenile offenders, implementing a wide range of “changes that have not been written about.” Litscher, who led the agency between 1999 and 2003, was brought back last year amid media reports detailing examples

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