A settlement between Wisconsin and the ACLU over the treatment of youth inmates at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake schools is now in effect.
ACLU of Wisconsin senior attorney Karyn Rotker says these changes are significant, and are for the betterment of the youth offenders being held at the two facilities.
“This is something that after a lot of mediation and negotiation that both sides reached an agreement on, and we think that it will significantly improve conditions at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes schools.”
One of the most important parts of that settlement is ending punitive solitary confinement.
“Ultimately it will be eliminated within 10 months of when the court actually signs the order,” says Rotker.
The settlement also limits the use of restraints, and requires probable cause to conduct strip searches on the children in the facilities, and will phase out the use of pepper spray.
Under the guidelines, the Department of Corrections will also have outside monitoring at both schools. “There is going to be an outside monitor, who will be able to come in, observe what’s going on, perhaps give suggestions, but help ensure that the agreement is being complied with.”