Members of the State Senate's Committee on Judiciary & Corrections may have visited the women's prison in Fond du Lac with some preconceived notions, but came away with a different understanding.
Tuesday's visit of the Taycheedah Correctional Institution was part of the Committee's "State of the Justice System Tour."
State Senator Lena Taylor is the Committee's chairperson. She admits after hearing concerns about the health and mental health care inmates have been receiving they entered with some wrong ideas about the facility. Now she finds the prison is understaffed.
Taylor says nurses are in short supply. Prison guards, she says, often dispense medication and that shouldn't be.
Fellow Committee member Senator Kathleen Vinehout says transportation is also a problem. Inmates' appointments for some medical providers have been delayed or cancelled because of lack of adequate transportation for appointments.
If funding proposals make it through the budget process, Vinehout says there would be funding for thirty-three additional staff members at the prison and access to better mental health care for some seriously ill inmates.