Taylor Measure Calling for Early Release of Wisconsin Inmates Adopted by Board
MILWAUKEE – The County Board adopted (15-2) a proposal from Supervisor Sequanna Taylor today calling upon Governor Tony Evers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread by releasing certain types inmates from Wisconsin correctional institutions.
“We are in the middle of an out-of-control pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 200,000 Americans,” said Supervisor Taylor. “Covid-19 is a death sentence for many, and there is no justification to subject incarcerated individuals to the additional risk of contracting Covid-19 if those folks are high-risk, being held for crimeless revocations, serving a sentence longer than originally intended, or will be up for release in the next nine months.”
Taylor’s resolution asks Governor Tony Evers to parole or commute the sentences inmates subject to “indeterminant sentencing” prior to December 31, 1999, who may have served longer-than-intended sentences and release individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Individuals at greatest risk of severe or fatal COVID-19 complications, including the elderly, those who are immuno-compromised, and those with chronic health conditions
- Those held in the Division of Adult Institutions due to technical rule violations (crimeless revocation) who have less than one year remaining in their revocation sentence
- Persons who are scheduled for release within six to nine months of this resolution’s passage
While the Wisconsin Department of Corrections has released around 1400 individuals from jails in the interest of reducing the spread of Covid-19, it is unclear how many inmates have been released from correctional facilities for the same reason.
A May 2020 report from the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau titled, “Emergency Release of Prisoners Due to COVID-19”, concluded Article V, Section 6 of the Wisconsin Constitution allows the Governor to issue reprieves, commutations, and pardons to those convicted of a crime.
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