State Sen. Jennifer Shilling
Press Release

Shilling questions GOP obstruction on child abuse scandal

Dem leader troubled by withholding of public records

By - Feb 15th, 2016 11:45 am

MADISON – As the FBI continues to investigate a range of criminal activity within Gov. Walker’s Department of Corrections, the failure of administration officials to disclose public records, case details and staffing information is raising new concerns. Despite years of warnings, legislative Republicans have refused to exercise their oversight authority and demand answers from Gov. Walker’s office regarding safety concerns, administrative mismanagement and questionable treatment of children residing at the Lincoln Hills juvenile facility.

“As a parent, I find it appalling that Republican leaders continue to ignore these well-documented cases of child abuse, rape and sexual assault,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “The ongoing obstruction by legislative Republicans and their unwillingness to immediately address child safety concerns, understaffing and security issues at these facilities should trouble any parent. It’s our duty to protect children who are under the state’s care. Parents across our state should be able to go to bed at night knowing their children are safe.”

Legislative Republicans have ignored repeated calls to hold public hearings, investigate security concerns and improve safety conditions at DOC facilities. Despite new information that Gov. Walker’s administration failed to comply with Wisconsin’s Open Record laws and turn over requested documents detailing serious criminal activity, Republicans have refused to hold administration officials accountable, improve conditions at correctional facilities or investigate whether additional crimes have been committed.

“Republicans have made it their priority to eliminate the Government Accountability Board, increase corporate campaign donations and exempt themselves from John Doe criminal probes,” added Shilling. “The fact that they can’t be bothered to investigate the serious and alarming cases of child abuse, rape and sexual assaults that have been documented over the last four years is appalling. Wisconsin parents and citizens have a right to know what is happening to children in these facilities. The safety and well-being of children under the state’s care should be a top priority.”

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