A federal injunction requires the state to sharply reduce use of solitary confinement and pepper spray at Wisconsin’s juvenile prisons. Judge James Peterson ruled last month that those practices are unconstitutional as practiced at the Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake facility north of Wausau.
The action is in response to a federal court lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections by current and former inmates represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and the Juvenile Law Center.
The injunction released Monday is a follow up from a court hearing last month in which Peterson was highly critical of the DOC’s management of the Lincoln County facility. The judge most notably said that Ted Kaczynski – the infamous Unibomber – has less restrictive confinement than the youth inmates. Peterson said some of the new limits need to be in place by July 21 and will drastically reduce the use of the practices.