Review of state juvenile justice system urged in Council file
The Common Council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee will hear a proposal Monday to ask the State of Wisconsin to conduct a full review of the state’s juvenile justice system. The committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 13 in room 301-B at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St. Council file # 150104 (attached), sponsored by Alderman […]
The Common Council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee will hear a proposal Monday to ask the State of Wisconsin to conduct a full review of the state’s juvenile justice system.
The committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, July 13 in room 301-B at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St. Council file # 150104 (attached), sponsored by Alderman Terry L. Witkowski, is item number 11 on the agenda.
The resolution urges the State of Wisconsin to undertake a review of the juvenile justice system. It urges the review to focus on:
- Modernization of penalties.
- Age-appropriate sentencing.
- Proper use and supervision of probation and parole.
- Proper use of incarceration.
- Data-driven tools for effectiveness, with an emphasis on preventing recidivism and providing deterrence.
The measure also directs the Department of Administration, Intergovernmental Relations Division to lobby the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate to pursue the review.
Alderman Witkowski said Wisconsin ranks as the 7th highest state in terms of referral of students in school to police and courts, with 10.2 per 1,000 students referred compared to the national average of 5.8 per 1,000 students. He said the current state-created system was designed for the 1950s with two-parent households, with one of them staying home to raise children.
“This is not close to reality today,” the alderman said. “Today judges release offenders to their parents as in the 1950s, but no one is there to supervise them. They order probation but the number of probation officers has gone down so there is little supervision, and juvenile detention facilities were a state budget cut as the Wales School for Boys, the nearest such facility to Milwaukee, is closed down.”
“The juvenile justice system is a state creation and I am asking them to study it and bring it into the 21st century,” Alderman Witkowski said.
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