Gretchen Schuldt

State Prison COVID Cases Up 31%

Increase of 1,033 in one week, a new record.

By , Wisconsin Justice Initiative - Nov 3rd, 2020 12:55 pm
Waupun Correctional Institution. Photo by Lauren Fuhrmann of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Waupun Correctional Institution. Photo by Lauren Fuhrmann of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in Wisconsin state prisons soared last week, rising by 1,033 cases, the biggest one-week hike since the outbreak began, Department of Corrections figures show.

Facilities reporting increases in COVID-19 cases

Facilities reporting increases in COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases reported rose from 3,296 on Oct. 23 to 4,329 on Friday, Oct. 30, a 31% jump, the figures show.

Five prisons reported more than 100 additional cases in a single week. Those  prisons were Waupun, Stanley, Jackson, Dodge and Green Bay Correctional Institutions.

Four facilities, including Taycheedah Correctional Institution, the state’s major women’s prison, reported their first cases. The other three were McNaughton Correctional Center, Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility, and the Thompson Correctional Center.

Just seven of DOC’s 37 facilities did not report any COVID-19 cases as of Friday. They are the Flambeau Correctional Center, The Grow Academy (juvenile), Kenosha Correctional Center, Oregon Correctional Center, Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution, Sanger B. Powers Correctional Center and the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility.

The Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution has the most total cases reported overall – 872 – but reported no new cases last week.

Gov. Tony Evers has been sharply criticized by advocates for failing to use his powers as governor to release low-risk offenders during the pandemic.

Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.”

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