Governor Scott Walker was pressed by reporters on Friday, about allegations at the state’s juvenile corrections facility. Taking questions from the media following an event at the Kohl Center in Madison, Walker responded to concerns at Lincoln Hills School and the Department of Corrections in general.
An investigation at the youth prison now includes the FBI. “They’ll have to respond specifically why they’re involved,” Walker said. “I presume for the same reason that we worked with the Department of Justice on reviewing and making sure that if there were laws that weren’t followed that the people who were responsible, no matter who they might be, would be ultimately held accountable.”
Walker was also asked whether the allegations being investigated at Lincoln Hills — which include second-degree sexual assault, child abuse and intimidation of victims and witnesses — are in part the result of staffing issues. “In terms of the allegations that people may have broken the law, staffing levels and other issues like that don’t force people to not follow the law of the state,” Walker said.
Also on Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections announced additional actions — including more security supervisors and body cameras — for the safety of youth offenders at Lincoln Hills. A DOC statement said the actions are being implemented there and across the department, in the wake of revelations that prison staff are being investigated.
“We want to make sure that people are safe,” going forward, Walker said. “That’s the ultimate priority of the state of Wisconsin.”