Thursday, January 4, 2018

Walker moves 6 years late on Lincoln Hills humanitarian crisis

Before you get to the heart of the story, remember that Walker was told in 2012 by a Racine County judge that youth were being mistreated at the facility known as Lincoln Hills up north to which Walker's brain trust had decided urban offenders should be sent from SE Wisconsin.

I noted in 2011 that his closing of the boys' facility long-located in Waukesha County to save a few bucks - - the right treats government consolidations as chess board games while human beings and true public policies are risked  and dismissed- - was a mistake: 

Good-bye Ethan Allen School for Boys, a juvenile justice facility at Wales, as I reported earlier.
The workers are stunned. The plan is bad for them, the kids sent there and the community...Walker gave no real warning.
In fact, Walker closed the Ethan Allen School even though the state had just spent millions on improvements there.

But Walker liked moving jobs to the north, and upending a Jim Doyle initiative to boot, regardless of the consequences, which included mass inmate gassings, as WKOW-TV reported in December, 2015 without any reaction, apparently, by Team Walker.

Then roll forward to this report of mine a year ago:
On Walker's watch, Lincoln Hills is a humanitarian crisis
Victimized guard says Walker shares blame for her beating...
Now there is reporting of the details surrounding a suicide attempt at the female unit at the youth prison that has left a teenage-girl in this state facility with permanent injury... 
Do you remember this disgusting story about conditions in the state's youth prison which we the taxpayers pay for?
Lincoln Hills youth had toes amputated after run-in with staff
The allegations have been horrendous and are getting worse:
...teenagers sentenced to serve time at the state’s youth prison in Irma face being taken to a cell no larger than about the size of a gas station bathroom, outfitted with a single metal bed and metal toilet. There’s one window in the cell’s door, as wide as the inmate’s face, that looks across a hallway into another cell... 
Why should it take a federal lawsuit to bring this nightmare more fully to public attention, and to the authorities to bring the nightmare to a close?
Well, today Walker finally gets around to announcing a possible solution - - a plan long available but which Walker would embrace - - to the crisis at the Lincoln Hills youth prison which he set in motion during his first budget's meddling that now will take at least two years to implement:
Walker's move comes six years after his office was first notified by a judge of problems at the facility, three years after a sweeping criminal investigation of the prison began, six months after a federal judge put restrictions on how it operates and a month after federal prosecutors notified two former guards they could be charged with crimes. 
So now the taxpayers will pay and pay because of Walker's short-sighted policies which ignore reality. 

Same pattern with our crumbling highways and infrastructure.

And with classroom investments still not fully restored from Walker's early cuts.

Wisconsin, we've been duped.


Anonymous said...

Aren't there still law suits pending by parents and inmates? I think that might add to the $80 million. I also wonder if they are assuming that running one institution will cost the same as running 5. I think the proposal itself sounds like a giant leap forward but agree with you that it is unlikely to come to fruition.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Wait, are you telling me a lifetime politician who only does things for reasons of political gain has policies that fail and cost us millions in the long run?

You bloody well right Walker does that. All the time. And he is not serious about solving these problems in Corrections, he's just seen bad poll numbers.