Governor Walker Signs Bipartisan Juvenile Justice Reform Bill into Law
"We are committed to improving long-term outcomes for juveniles and staff in our correctional facilities."
MILWAUKEE – Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 953 into law today at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. The bill, which received unanimous support in both the Assembly and Senate, includes measures to create new juvenile correctional facilities across the state, expands the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center which provides mental and behavioral health services, and it repurposes the Lincoln Hills & Copper Lake juvenile detention facilities into an adult facility.
“We are committed to improving long-term outcomes for juveniles and staff in our correctional facilities,” said Governor Walker. “We thank county officials, members of the judiciary, and lawmakers from both parties for their efforts on this bill.”
Assembly Bill 953 – The bill requires the Department of Corrections to close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake School by January 1, 2021. The facilities must be converted to adult correctional facilities. Counties are allowed to establish secured residential care centers for youth offenders, with the state providing bonding for certain construction costs. The state will be required to establish a new Type 1 juvenile correctional facility for certain serious offenders and to expand services and the number of beds at the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center. A council will be established to study juvenile corrections issues in Wisconsin.
This piece of legislation was designed by a bipartisan group of legislators, the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred in the Senate on a voice vote. It is Act 185.
- 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
- Milwaukee County Wants Alternatives to Youth Incarceration - Sam Woods - Feb 22nd, 2020
- Youth Justice Milwaukee: Wisconsin is at a Turning Point in Youth Justice - Youth Justice Milwaukee - Feb 13th, 2020
- GOP Underfunds Youth Corrections Plan - Laurel White - Feb 13th, 2020
- Op Ed: Will Lincoln Hills Ever Be Closed? - State Sen. Jeff Smith - Dec 10th, 2019
- Special Report: New York’s After Care Program Helps Youth - Allison Dikanovic - Sep 17th, 2019
- MKE County: Youth Corrections Proposal Sent To State - Graham Kilmer - Sep 11th, 2019
- Special Report: Building Trust Can Help Juvenile Offenders - Allison Dikanovic - Sep 11th, 2019
- Special Report: How New York Handles Juvenile Justice - Allison Dikanovic - Sep 10th, 2019
Read more about Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake here
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