Evers Announces Youth Prison for City
To be located on Teutonia Ave. and Mill Rd. Research shows facility near home enhances outcomes.
Two new youth prisons will be built in Milwaukee and Outagamie County to replace Wisconsin’s embattled youth prison, Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday.
The new state-run facilities will be located at the intersection of Teutonia Avenue and Mill Road in Milwaukee and in the Outagamie County community of Hortonia. They are part of a larger plan to relocate inmates from the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls to several smaller, regional facilities located throughout Wisconsin.
“We are committed to getting kids out of Lincoln Hills and closer to home as soon as we safely and responsibly can,” Evers said in a prepared statement. “Today’s announcements show significant action toward our shared goal of ensuring kids get the education, programming and mental health treatment they need in supportive settings that are closer to their families and communities.”
Under Evers’ budget proposal, that deadline is eliminated — a move that has concerned a number of lawmakers and advocates. Evers has said the state needs to be realistic about the timeframe for establishing new facilities.
The governor on Tuesday also laid the groundwork for building other, county-run regional facilities across the state. He announced the creation of the committee that will work with counties to approve state grants that will help build those prisons. The committee will be helmed by Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwaukee, and include the heads of the state Department of Corrections and Department of Children and Families.
“Research shows that children in incarceration make significant strides toward positive change when they are closer to their communities and loved ones,” said Corrections Secretary-designee Kevin Carr in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working with the Grant Committee and Wisconsin counties to develop a network of local opportunities to support our youth.”
Evers directed the committee to begin work next week.
Allegations of inmate neglect and abuse have plagued Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake for years, resulting in state and federal investigations and numerous staff resignations. Staffing shortages have also been an issue at the institutions.
Last year, the state paid nearly $19 million to a former inmate who tried to kill herself in her cell in 2015, resulting in permanent brain injuries.
According to a report released in January, the facilities continue to use pepper spray and solitary confinement to punish inmates.
Listen to the WPR report here.
New State-Run Youth Prisons Announced For Milwaukee, Outagamie County was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
- 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
- State Blows Up County Youth Corrections Plan - Graham Kilmer - May 20th, 2020
- Youth Advocates Remain Committed to Closing Wisconsin Youth Prisons Following Monitor’s Report - American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin - Mar 5th, 2020
Read more about Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake here