State Rep. Evan Goyke
Press Release

Rep. Goyke to Lead Juvenile Justice Reform

In lieu of gubernatorial leadership on this important issue, the legislature must act.

By - Dec 29th, 2016 12:30 pm

MILWAUKEE – State Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) will again lead the legislature in proposing needed reforms to Wisconsin’s juvenile correctional system. The legislation, formerly Assembly Bill 746, which received bi-partisan support in the Assembly, calls on the Department of Corrections to study and report on the development of smaller, regional juvenile institutions following what is commonly referred to as the “Missouri Model.”

After Governor Walker’s recent comments in year-end interviews it is clear that it is now the legislature’s responsibility to bring proven and effective reform to our State’s juvenile justice system. When it comes to the treatment and welfare of the children in our corrections system, and in lieu of gubernatorial leadership on this important issue, the legislature must act.

When recently asked about the state of juvenile corrections, Governor Walker stated that he has not yet visited any correctional institution in Wisconsin during his tenure in office, including the troubled Lincoln Hills juvenile facility. The Governor stated, “You’re going to see what people want you to see there,” and that he didn’t want to just appear in a “photo-op.”

Back in May, the Governor toured the Merrill Airport and participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony, among other events, with photos of the event posted on his Twitter feed and Facebook page. The airport is less than 15 miles from Lincoln Hills.

“I don’t get it – He is the Governor. He is literally the head of the ‘they’ that he says won’t show him the truth of what’s going on at Lincoln Hills,” Goyke said in response. “He’s the boss. If he wanted to he could demand the answers Wisconsin deserves.”

Goyke, who has been to Lincoln Hills multiple times, continued: “What I saw at Lincoln Hills inspired me to search for the nation’s best practices in juvenile corrections. That research points to smaller, regional facilities, with more individualized treatment and education.”

“What results is a lower recidivism rate, which equals less juvenile crime.” Goyke said.

In recent weeks, the “Missouri Model” has been highlighted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and in a recent year-end interview by Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Website Links for Reference:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article:

Merrill Foto News Article:

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