MILWAUKEE – On the heels of former Corrections Secretary Ed Wall exposing Gov. Scott Walker’s failure to address the dangerous conditions at the Lincoln Hills juvenile corrections facility, Gov. Walker today announced a plan to close the facility — in 2019 — that’s right, next year. Talk about kicking the can down the road! The following is the statement of gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik with regards to today’s news:
“Gov. Scott Walker was warned about ‘inhumane’ conditions at Lincoln Hills six years ago. But now, almost as some kind of political stagecraft, he’s talking about taking action next year — after the election — with a non-specific plan for which he has not pledged his support. So, Walker’s actual idea is to park juvenal offenders and correctional officers in dangerous conditions for yet another year while he looks for clever ways to open more prisons around the state instead of addressing the failed criminal justice system that’s landing more and more people in Wisconsin prisons each year. This isn’t a plan — it’s political gamesmanship and cowardice.
“Walker has allowed the mounting problems at Lincoln Hills to fester despite documented harm to both guards and juveniles at the facility. The Walker administration reportedly is still not in compliance with a court order to enact much-needed safety reforms at the facility. The governor won’t step foot in Lincoln Hills to learn more about the problems from correctional officers, juvenal detainees, social workers, doctors and others confronted with the issues every day. That’s where you find the real solutions.
“I know Gov. Walker’s desperate to be re-elected so he can continue to pursue his presidential ambitions, but he is messing with people’s lives and that’s got to stop. When I’m governor, we’ll reform the entire criminal justice system so we stop locking up people up for non-violent crimes; we’ll find ways to return juvenile offenders into productive lives within their communities, and we’ll put an end to our prison industry being the only industry growing in the state of Wisconsin.”
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