Evers Will Visit Lincoln Hills
Walker never visited troubled youth prison or any correctional facility during eight years in office.
Gov.-elect Tony Evers said he’ll visit the troubled Lincoln Hills juvenile prison during his first week in office, a move he said will let people working and serving time there know that he cares about what happens to them.
The visit would stand in sharp contrast to the approach of Gov. Scott Walker, who never visited Lincoln Hills or any other Wisconsin correctional facility during his eight years in office.
Evers’ planned trip comes as the state prepares to close the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls by January 2021, a timeline established under a law that Walker signed last year. Juveniles there will be transferred to smaller institutions, many of them run by county governments.
I think the people that work there and young people that are incarcerated there need to know that the governor of Wisconsin cares about what’s happening”I think the people that work there and young people that are incarcerated there need to know that the governor of Wisconsin cares about what’s happening and kind of make them feel comfortable that this change that’s going to happen with them is going to be something for the better,” Evers said in an interview Wednesday.
“It’s my observation that the amount of money that was allocated by the Legislature and the governor will likely not be enough,” Evers said. “So we’re going to have to find ways to make that happen because we’re committed to making this change.”
As the law stands right now, the state is authorized to borrow up to $80 million to build smaller state- and county-run facilities to replace Lincoln Hills, a facility that for years has faced allegations of inmate abuse and neglect.
Evers said he would visit other prisons later in his term and would not rule out building a new prison to replace the more than century-old Green Bay Correctional Institution. He said the key would be changing Wisconsin’s laws to put more emphasis on rehabilitation than on locking people up.
“I think there’s some momentum to do something there, but we have to view that in context,” Evers said. “Before we turn around and build something, we need to make sure that we’re on the right trajectory — that we’re changing the way we look at corrections.”
Evers said he thought lawmakers from both parties would be willing to work on corrections reform.
“I think once the dust has settled and legislators start thinking through this more carefully, I think we are going to be able to make some progress,” Evers said. “Whether it’s this first biennium or not, I don’t know. But the country is tracking in that direction, and I believe that Wisconsin will follow.”
Listen to the WPR Report here.
Evers Planning To Visit Lincoln Hills During His First Week In Office was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
- Report Finds Improvements in Youth Prisons - Isiah Holmes - Apr 21st, 2021
- New Therapy Used at Lincoln Hills - Rob Mentzer - Apr 20th, 2021
- Evers Proposes $45.8 Million for Milwaukee Juvenile Facility - Gretchen Schuldt - Mar 1st, 2021
- MKE County: County Has Just 22 Inmates in Youth Prisons - Edgar Mendez - Feb 24th, 2021
- Evers Pushes Juvenile Justice System Changes - Corri Hess - Feb 18th, 2021
- Youth Justice Milwaukee Calls for Transformation of the Wisconsin Youth Justice System as the State Acknowledges it Will Not Meet the July 2021 Deadline to Close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Prisons - Youth Justice Milwaukee - Feb 8th, 2021
- Pandemic Causes Youth Prison Problems - Graham Kilmer - Jan 27th, 2021
- Can State Rescue Youth Corrections Plan? - Graham Kilmer - Jan 11th, 2021
- State Can’t Meet Deadline to Close Youth Prisons - Graham Kilmer - Dec 30th, 2020
- MKE County: Crowley Defers Youth Corrections Grant Until State Has Sustainable Plan - Graham Kilmer - Sep 16th, 2020
Read more about Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake here