A newly released memo shows concerns were raised about the treatment of juvenile offenders at the Lincoln Hills institution as early as 2012.
Racine County Circuit Judge Richard Kruel discussed the case of an offender who was sexually assaulted at the facility, in a letter sent to Governor Scott Walker. Kruel said he had numerous concerns about how the youth was was treated by staff at the facility and how it was not promptly reported to authorities. Kruel also questioned why it took facility staff three hours to take the victim to an area medical facility for treatment. The situtation eventually led Racine County to stop sending offenders there, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“The indifference in this sordid tale is absolutely inexcusable,” Kruel wrote to the governor.
Walker never saw the memo though. Instead, his office said the complaint was sent to the Department of Corrections, which then took action to address the concerns, such as implementing additional staff training and reviewing protocols at Lincoln Hills. “Many issues are raised to our office. Policy staff frequently work with agencies on these issues to help ensure they are addressed,” said Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor.
The treatment of offenders at Lincoln Hills has been under intense scrutiny in recent months, following revelations of an ongoing John Doe investigation at the facility into reports of inmates being abused and assaulted. Several staff members have resigned or been placed on leave. The probe is ongoing.