In the wake of allegations of abuse at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake facilities, coalition of families and community groups is calling on the state to close down Wisconsin’s youth prisons.
Youth Justice Milwaukee is advocating for replacing youth prisons with community-based programs, which the group’s Jeff Roman contends are more effective and cost less money, such as therapy. Roman says it’s clear the current system of incarceration for young offenders is now working, describing it as “outdated.”
Governor Scott Walker’s proposed state budget includes more resources for the facilities, which Roman applauds. However, he says those still fail to address that the current institutionalized system is not working. “In order to fundamentally change the juvenile justice system, the way that we think about justice and rehabilitating people needs to change from the top down,” he argues.
An FBI investigation continues in to the state juvenile facilities in Lincoln County.