New legislation would help ease serious overcrowding issues in W - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

New legislation would help ease serious overcrowding issues in Wisconsin prisons

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin sends more people to prison than any of our neighboring states; putting twice as many people behind bars as Minnesota.

In the new state budget, Wisconsin allocated more than $1 billion dollars for corrections spending. In fact the cost of keeping one person in prison for a year is around $30-thousand dollars, however there is a new effort emerging aiming to change Wisconsin's prison problems.

Wednesday, State Representative Evan Goyke held a policy briefing before the state legislature, detailing steady growth in the number of adult prisoners in Wisconsin while the number of juveniles in detention facilities like Lincoln Hills has declined.

Representative Goyke introduced a piece of legislation that would change Lincoln Hills from a juvenile detention facility to an adult treatment facility.

Goyke says the move is aimed at relieving some of the over-crowding issues within the Wisconsin prison system.

"We have reports of some inmates sleeping 6,7,8 to a room, especially at the women's prison, so all prison facilities are already over-crowded."

The Representative says changing the 70% vacant Lincoln Hills juvenile detention facility would immediately ease overcrowding issues.

County jails are also suffering, housing over 400 state inmates that the prison system doesn't have room for. The legislation, if pushed through would help them as well. 

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