Walker a Day Late and Dollar Short on Juvenile Corrections
"As usual, the governor is a day late and a dollar short on helping Wisconsin’s most vulnerable populations."
(MADISON) – Today, Governor Scott Walker announced that he may close the troubled Lincoln Hills facility in 2019, among other corrections measures. The announcement comes almost six years after the Governor was first notified of alleged abuse, two years after the FBI launched an investigation into the facility, and days after Governor Walker’s former Corrections Secretary Ed Wall stated that the investigation into the juvenile facility had been “completely botched” and “shuffled off” by the governor’s administration.
“After years of neglect, and ignoring the many legislative proposals that I introduced to bring relief to juveniles and correctional officers, Governor Walker is just now getting to do his job right in time for another election bid,” said Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). “As governor, he has failed to visit a single correctional or juvenile facility in his entire tenure. It’s clear where is priorities are, and that this is just another attempt to play politics and get this scandal, recently confirmed by his former Corrections Secretary, off his back.”
Over the years, Senator Lena Taylor (D – Milwaukee) has advocated for juvenile corrections reform, accountability, and expanded access for the family and community members of juveniles held at Lincoln Hills. Senator Taylor began organizing community-based visits in 2016. These visits included bus visits for family and community members, programming for youth at the facility, and education opportunities including the Black History Legacy Tour in February 2016. Senator Taylor has also advocated for repeated legislative reforms including: a juvenile solitary confinement ban, transfer of juvenile corrections to the Department of Children and Families, authority for Milwaukee County to have their own juvenile hybrid facility, and proper distribution of medication to juveniles – which was approved during the 2017 biannual state budget – and many other proposals that focus on regionalized corrections models, best practices, and trauma-informed care.
In response to the administration’s failure to address the ongoing crisis and to avoid harm to juveniles and correctional officers, Senator Taylor has called for two special sessions to address Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. After failing to receive a response, Senator Taylor and Representative Chris Taylor (D – Madison) later introduced a bill to close Lincoln Hills and Cooper Lake within one year after the bill is signed into law.
“I have dedicated my career to justice reform. Not to curry favor, get voters, or pass the buck, but because it was the right thing to do. As usual, the governor is a day late and a dollar short on helping Wisconsin’s most vulnerable populations.”
More about the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake
- 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 State Sen. Lena Taylor
"These bills do not address the issues that Governor Walker continues to neglect."
"I am glad that what I have repeatedly said and advocated for in past years regarding juvenile corrections is finally getting traction from my colleagues."
“Wisconsin’s suicide rate has increased between 2005 and 2015, and the suicide rate among teens has doubled between 2007 and 2015,” said Senator Lena Taylor.