County Executive Chris Abele
Press Release

Dramatic Turnaround at Milwaukee County House of Correction

One year after County Executive Chris Abele took over the operations of the Milwaukee County House of Correction (HOC), the facility has seen a dramatic and positive turnaround.

By - May 16th, 2014 10:44 am

MILWAUKEE – One year after County Executive Chris Abele took over the operations of the Milwaukee County House of Correction (HOC), the facility has seen a dramatic and positive turnaround. Instead of simply housing offenders, the HOC is now offering programming and treatment that lowers recidivism and saves tax dollars.

“Every inmate who walks through the door at the HOC today fulfills their sentence, but most are also given the chance to contribute something back to our community and better themselves,” said County Executive Abele.

County Executive Abele met with law enforcement leaders from the across the country and state and held dozens of meetings on planning and best practices in advance of last year’s transition and before hiring Mike Hafemann as HOC Superintendent. County Executive Abele also interviewed numerous correctional experts to find the right leader to implement the vision of what an improved HOC could be.

“Mike and his team have done an incredible job delivering transformative change in just the first year,” County Executive Abele said. “This type of programming for inmates at the HOC is the latest step in our proactive approach to the criminal justice system. Working with the District Attorney’s Office, Chief Judge, Milwaukee Police and others, we’ve added programs and resources that address crime while also addressing the core problems leading to crime. Make no mistake, the changes we have implemented will make the County safer.”

Working with County Executive Abele, the County Board, advocates and experts across the criminal justice system, Hafemann and his staff have implemented numerous programs that give inmates a chance to break the cycle of incarceration. Teaching inmates job skills and offering necessary treatment saves money in the long run and improves public safety.

“Our accomplishments in the last 12 months have been many, but I believe the most significant has been our ability to manage an efficient, safe and secure correctional operation while also adding important inmate programming activities and options,” said Hafemann.

In just one year the Milwaukee County House of Corrections has:

*Started GED classes for inmates. So far 242 people have received their GED. 

*Established in-house programming activities that includes:

  • Substance abuse group and individual treatments;
  • Parenting and Nurturing classes;
  • Fatherhood classes;
  • Anger Management; and,
  • Mental health issues group and individual treatments.

*Introduced job training programs, including:

  • IN2WORK, a nationally recognized restaurant and food safety training program. 130 inmates have taken the class including more than a dozen inmates who graduated this month.
  • Fork Lifting class, a one week training class that certifies inmates in forklifting. A total of 96 inmates have completed the program.
*Started a program that allows non-violent inmates the chance to reduce their sentence by cleaning up parks and highways across Milwaukee County. 

*Inmate work crews have worked over 1,300 hours on various outside work details, saving Milwaukee County taxpayers nearly $90,000. Responsibilities include:

  • Removing trash from County and State highways within the County;
  • Working in 20 County Parks to assists park personnel in maintaining park  grounds, equipment and facilities;
  • Maintaining (i.e., trash removal) 17 acres of County owned vacant lands;
  • Maintaining the grounds, maintenance and landscaping of the House of Correction; and,
  • Working at the Hunger Task Force Farm and Fish Hatchery.

Mentioned in This Press Release


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2 thoughts on “Dramatic Turnaround at Milwaukee County House of Correction”

  1. Mary says:

    My son has been in the HOC since May of 2014 not only has he not been offer any of these classes except to go a aoda meetings out at HOC but he was all so denied Medical treatment in June when he was having chest pains and they had to take him to the Er and did a EKG .The Cardiologist stated he needed to have a stress done as they found an irregularity on the EKG he was supposed to have this on June 27 of 2014 and they said they couldn’t take him for it then Captain Stein said he would have it on the Third of July but that didn’t happen either .Is there something I missed in this article or is article and the service that the inmates receive out at HOC is that for only special people and not really include others My Son has yet been able to attend out pt treatment or any schooling which clearly states in his sentence that he should be allowed to do these things

  2. Bryan says:

    I was in the HOC for 12 months and the only thing that was better for the inmates was the visiting situation. Everything else stayed exactly the same. Don’t believe any of this bull they are trying to tell you. I was there when the HOC was taken away from Clarke and turned over to the new superintendent,and nothing changed. They are only trying to make themselves look good in the eyes of the community. The public is not allowed to go in the HOC and see what goes on,on a daily basis. They need to be ashamed of themselves for telling lies to the public.

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