State Sen. Lena Taylor
Press Release

Sen. Taylor to hold listening session at Lincoln Hills

Earlier this month, allegations of abuse, sexual assault, neglect, physical abuse, strangulation and suffocation among others led to a Department of Justice raid of the facilities.

By - Dec 21st, 2015 03:45 pm

(MADISON) – Making good on her December 17th Facebook post, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) today announced she will be holding a listening session at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile detention facilities. The announcement of these visits come after Sen. Taylor learned through media allegations of the horrific treatment of the juveniles and workers at the facility.

Earlier this month, allegations of abuse, sexual assault, neglect, physical abuse, strangulation and suffocation among others led to a Department of Justice raid of the facilities. The subsequent investigation now includes several agencies including the FBI.

“I cannot imagine the suffering of these youth” said Taylor. “Far too many people were aware of this and did not act. This listening session for me is about making sure these children get a little love and faith and know that there are some of us out here who care deeply about them, their struggles behind the walls and ultimately their successes upon reentry.”

Senator Taylor intends to conduct multiple trips to the facility, the first of which will be to listen to the children directly, and also to listen to the staff; the second visit will include bringing professionals from the Milwaukee community who help kids cope with trauma. Taylor is also organizing transportation for family and community members to be with their loved ones and openly discuss and address their concerns as well.

“These children will all be reentering our community at some point and when they do, I want them to know I did not turn a blind eye when they were most in need, and that services to wrap around them will be available to help them succeed” said Taylor. “They need our love and support and that’s what I intend to give them.”

Taylor is the only African American to serve as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 2009 when she chaired the committee, she led the State of the Justice System tour, which held listening sessions and public hearings throughout the justice system, including inside a prison. Taylor hasn’t set dates for her trips yet, but intends to make the first trip before the end of the year.

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