Close Lincoln Hills: Advocates and Officials Reiterate Call for Closing Abusive Youth Prisons
Counties must stop sending vulnerable youth to unsafe facility beyond repair
MILWAUKEE – Led by Youth Justice Milwaukee, a coalition of community organizations, elected officials, youth advocates and family members of youth involved in the juvenile justice system today called on Milwaukee County officials to stop sending young people to the abusive Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons.
After several years of federal and state investigations and interventions, Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake remain abusive, dangerous facilities that are incapable of rehabilitating young people. But in the face of state inaction, Wisconsin counties must stop sending youth to these failed institutions and instead invest resources into a spectrum of alternative treatment options that are proven to work better.
“It’s clear that Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake have failed to help young people,” said Sean Wilson, Youth Justice Milwaukee coalition member. “It’s no surprise that an inherently inhumane environment like Lincoln Hills isn’t helping young people get back on track. The best way forward is to keep investing in community treatment programs that actually work, and are close to their families and support networks that can keep them safe and hold them accountable.”
“Across the country, states are closing their youth prisons as data exposes the ineffective and inhumane practice of locking kids into prison cells. What takes place in these prisons is not unfortunate, it is unjust and those in power that allow this inhumanity to continue through silence or support need to be held accountable. This is why Color Of Change is proud to join our friends at Youth Justice Milwaukee to demand Governor Scott Walker to stop allowing young people to be warehoused and close Lincoln Hill and Cooper Lake Youth Prisons.”
The call for local action comes at a time when Governor Walker and the state legislature are considering short-sighted legislation that would subject more youth to prison and for longer periods. At the same time, the Department of Corrections is considering moving some of our most vulnerable youth from Lincoln Hills to an adult facility – which would only exacerbate the trauma and eliminate any chance of rehabilitation.
“Supporting and scaling programs that deliver better outcomes is a far better investment than youth prisons, which only cause trauma, limit learning and leads to future recidivism,” said Jeffery Roman, co-founder of Youth Justice Milwaukee. “It is impossible to succeed in such an environment. We need to end our reliance on these facilities, and we need our local officials to take action and stop putting kids in harm’s way. There is a clear path forward for Milwaukee’s youth, and that doesn’t include youth prisons.”
For details on Youth Justice Milwaukee’s recommended alternatives to sending youth to Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Juvenile Prisons, click here.
Youth Justice Milwaukee is a broad-based campaign advocating for community-based, family-centered, restorative programs as an alternative to locking up children in Wisconsin’s youth prisons. Youth Justice Milwaukee represents a coalition of persons who were incarcerated as youth, families of youth who are or were incarcerated, service providers, and local and national youth justice advocates.
More about the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake
- Youth Justice Milwaukee Calls for More Community Input at Department of Corrections Community Meeting on Plans for Lincoln Hills Closure - Youth Justice Milwaukee - Sep 18th, 2018
- Youth Justice Milwaukee Statement on Judge’s OK to Lincoln Hills Settlement - Youth Justice Milwaukee - Sep 14th, 2018
- Youth Justice Milwaukee Statement on Lincoln Hills Incident with Young Person with Appendicitis - Youth Justice Milwaukee - Aug 31st, 2018
- Op Ed: Lincoln Hills Closed. Now What’s Needed? - Sharlen Moore - Aug 27th, 2018
- Wall Blasts Walker, Schimel on Youth Prison - Laurel White - Aug 13th, 2018
- Youth Justice Milwaukee: Department of Corrections Should Meet with Stakeholders in Milwaukee on Lincoln Hills - Youth Justice Milwaukee - Aug 8th, 2018
- Juvenile Corrections Reform Signed Into Law - State Rep. Evan Goyke - Apr 2nd, 2018
- Governor Walker Signs Bipartisan Juvenile Justice Reform Bill into Law - Gov. Scott Walker - Mar 30th, 2018
- Speaker Vos Statement: Signing of the ‘Wisconsin Model’ for Juvenile Corrections Reform - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos - Mar 30th, 2018
- Shilling statement on Lincoln Hills - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Mar 30th, 2018
- Rep. Bowen statement on passage of Wisconsin Model of youth justice - State Rep. David Bowen - Feb 21st, 2018
- Kleefisch-Bowen bill lays foundation for youth corrections overhaul - State Rep. David Bowen - Feb 13th, 2018
- Taylor and Bipartisan Legislators Introduce Juvenile Corrections Bill - State Sen. Lena Taylor - Feb 13th, 2018
- Walker Renews Call to Gut Services - State Sen. Lena Taylor - Jan 18th, 2018
- Supervisor Sequanna Taylor Offers to Help Governor Walker with Plan to Close Lincoln Hill and Copper Lake - Sup. Sequanna Taylor - Jan 18th, 2018
- Statement on Delayed Action at Lincoln Hills - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Jan 16th, 2018
- Governor Walker Calls on Legislature to Pass Bipartisan Reform for Wisconsin’s Juvenile Corrections System in 2018 - Gov. Scott Walker - Jan 16th, 2018
- Response to Walker’s revisions last night on Lincoln Hills - Democratic Party of Wisconsin - Jan 16th, 2018
- Another Walker Non-Answer on Lincoln Hills Raises a Significant Question - Democratic Party of Wisconsin - Jan 12th, 2018
- When Will Lincoln Hills Close? - Democratic Party of Wisconsin - Jan 9th, 2018
- Shuttering of Lincoln Hills a first step in bringing true rehabilitation for youth offenders - Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton - Jan 5th, 2018
- Career Politician Gov. Scott Walker Governs For Re-Election With Campaign Gimmick - Andy Gronik - Jan 4th, 2018
- Changes Needed at Lincoln Hills Now, Not After the Next Election - State Sen. Chris Larson - Jan 4th, 2018
- Walker agrees to do his job after years of willful neglect and political cover up at Lincoln Hills — now when it threatens his own re-election - Democratic Party of Wisconsin - Jan 4th, 2018
- Walker a Day Late and Dollar Short on Juvenile Corrections - State Sen. Lena Taylor - Jan 4th, 2018
- Governor Walker Announces Plan to Provide a Long-Term Solution for Wisconsin’s Juvenile Corrections and Treatment Systems - Gov. Scott Walker - Jan 4th, 2018
- Dana Wachs calls on Walker administration to close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake - State Rep. Dana Wachs - Nov 16th, 2017
- Op Ed: Lincoln Hills Even Worse Than Reported - Jake Edwards - Nov 16th, 2017
- Close Lincoln Hills: Advocates and Officials Reiterate Call for Closing Abusive Youth Prisons - Youth Justice Milwaukee - Nov 16th, 2017
- 2018 Budget Includes $90,000 for Youth Training Program - Sup. Sequanna Taylor - Nov 6th, 2017
- Rep. Bowen statement on DOC Internal Affairs Unit - State Rep. David Bowen - Oct 10th, 2017
- Sen. LaTonya Johnson’s Juvenile Justice Reform Signed Into Law - State Sen. LaTonya Johnson - Aug 2nd, 2017
- Court Watch: Judge Rules on Lincoln Hills - Gretchen Schuldt - Jul 13th, 2017
- Federal Court finds current conditions of confinement for youth at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Schools unconstitutional - American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin - Jun 23rd, 2017
- Court Watch: Pictures of Youths in Prison - Gretchen Schuldt - Jun 20th, 2017
- Abele Blasts State on Juvenile Prisons - Gretchen Schuldt - Apr 27th, 2017
- Court Watch: ACLU Seeks Lincoln Hills Injunction - Gretchen Schuldt - Apr 20th, 2017
- More Horrors at Juvenile Prisons? - Gretchen Schuldt - Apr 19th, 2017
- Court Watch: Chemical Spraying Used At Lincoln Hills - Gretchen Schuldt - Jan 27th, 2017
- Court Watch: Shocking Charges in Lincoln Hills Suit - Gretchen Schuldt - Jan 25th, 2017
- Corrections Officials Face Community on Lincoln Hills - Jabril Faraj - Jun 22nd, 2016
- Precious Lives: A Debate Over Lincoln Hills Problems - Dee J. Hall - May 24th, 2016
- Op-Ed: End Solitary Confinement, Especially of Youth - Laurence J. Dupuis - Feb 18th, 2016
- Murphy’s Law: Why Walker Allowed Lincoln Hills Abuses - Bruce Murphy - Feb 16th, 2016
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Youth Justice Milwaukee
Youth Justice Milwaukee Calls for More Community Input at Department of Corrections Community Meeting on Plans for Lincoln Hills ClosureSep 18th, 2018 by Youth Justice Milwaukee
YJM continued to advocate for alternatives to locked-door facilities while investing in close-to-home programs like mentoring and job training.
"For years, children suffered trauma and neglect at the hands of Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections, and this settlement only begins to make things right."
"Again and again, we hear stories that prove that for young people, simply being at Lincoln Hills is a risk to their lives."