Youth Justice Milwaukee
Press Release

Youth Justice Milwaukee Hosts Successful Roundtable with Elected Leaders on Youth Justice Reform

In a roundtable with local officials, Youth Justice Milwaukee shared vision for investing in youth, nonresidential community programs

By - Dec 12th, 2018 04:54 pm

Milwaukee, WI – Today, Youth Justice Milwaukee (YJM) held a roundtable meeting with Milwaukee County representatives, local aldermen, state officials and other elected officials, to discuss next steps after the closure of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons. YJM presented officials with alternatives to locking young people up and demonstrated how nonresidential programs successfully hold young people accountable without removing them from their supportive communities, which inflicts unnecessary trauma and makes rehabilitation impossible.

After the event, Youth Justice Milwaukee co-founders Sharlen Moore and Jeff Roman released the following statement:

“We thank the Milwaukee leaders who joined us this afternoon, including Lieutenant Governor-Elect Mandela Barnes, State Senator Chris Larson, Milwaukee County Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde, Milwaukee County Director of Health and Human Services Mary Jo Meyers, State Representative David Bowen and more. They listened with open hearts and minds to our vision for the young people in our communities. We’re excited to see so many officials working together for the common goal of creating a more just Wisconsin. Through community-based programs, we can provide youth with the care and resources they need while still holding them accountable. With Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake closing, a Wisconsin without youth prisons is possible and within reach, but only if we invest in appropriate, trauma-informed care and rehabilitation programs. We refuse to waste even one more dollar on the construction of new facilities that we know are ineffective and likely to do more harm than good.”

This evening, YJM will host another meeting for the public where Milwaukee County will present information on its plans after Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake close. Community members are encouraged to share their input on the plan at the free event from 5:30-8pm at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society.

Youth Justice Milwaukee is a broad-based campaign advocating for community-based, family-centered, restorative programs as an alternative to locking up children in Wisconsin’s youth prisons. Youth Justice Milwaukee represents a coalition of persons who were incarcerated as youth, families of youth who are or were incarcerated, service providers, and local and national youth justice advocates.

More about the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake

Recent Press Releases by Youth Justice Milwaukee

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Polling Shows: Majority of Wisconsinites Support Youth Justice Reform

Signals Strong Bipartisan Support for Community-Based Alternatives to Incarceration to Rehabilitate Youth

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Youth Justice Milwaukee: Wisconsin Must Include Community Input for Any Youth Transfers

"YJM agrees with President Hamilton that there are already enough correctional settings on the north side of Milwaukee."

Youth Justice Milwaukee: Lincoln Hills Continued Use of Pepper Spray, Suicide Risk Shows Youth Prison Model is Broken

"We know harm is being done to children at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake."

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