Gov. Scott Walker plans to convert the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls into a prison for adult inmates — a move that would close a dark chapter for the youth prison that has been plagued by allegations of inmate abuse and unsafe working conditions for staff.
Walker said Thursday he plans instead to build six smaller youth facilities around the state for Wisconsin’s most serious juvenile offenders, including one new mental health facility in Madison for girls.
“By moving from one facility to several facilities across the state, and placing a focus on mental health and trauma-informed care, we believe this plan will improve long-term outcomes for both juveniles and our staff working at these facilities,” the governor said in a statement.
The proposed reorganization has been in the works for about a year, according to the governor’s office. It comes amid a three-year federal investigation in which authorities are considering charges against two Lincoln Hills guards accused of excessive force and after several federal lawsuits alleging inmates’ constitutional rights were violated — one of which resulted in a court order to reduce the use of pepper spray, restraints and solitary confinement at the facility.
The complete story here > Scott Walker plans to close troubled Lincoln Hills youth prison, open six small facilities
The plan to turn Lincoln Hills into a medium security adult prison is a good one, so long as the 5 new juvenile prisons are real lock ups, and not some touchy feely 'group home' deals where dangerous teens are coddled.— Jay Weber (@JayWeber3) January 5, 2018
WI has a real need for more prison space, and it's high time we address it. @SheriffClarke has said for years that we have dangerous, hardened criminals doing their time in county lock ups, where they shouldn't be.— Jay Weber (@JayWeber3) January 5, 2018