Inmates at Columbia Correctional Institution sleep on the floor because there are not enough beds, according to a Department of Corrections budget request.
Others are released from prison directly from a solitary confinement unit where they "are single celled, have no movement, eat in cell, recreate alone or segregated, and have very limited property."
The released inmates "not only haven’t functioned in society in some time, but they haven’t functioned in general population of the institution in some time, if ever," DOC said in its request for $25,354,000.
The State Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker said no and established a study committee to discuss the state's prison needs.
What could go wrong?
This is part 4 in our series on Wisconsin prisons, how crowded they are, and what the Department of Corrections said is needed to improve, repair, and maintain them.
Here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
And here is a link to a video of State Rep. Evan Goyke's presentation, titled "Inmate 501: Converging Problems in Wisconsin's Prison System," on the choices for Wisconsin's prison future. As he says in his accompanying publication, "Inmate 501 will be the first Wisconsin inmate sent out of state because of overcrowding in nearly 20 years. Recent prison population growth is set to exceed all available options in state. We face challenging decisions. Do we send people out of state? Do we build a new prison? Do we reform?"
Goyke votes for reform. So do we.
This primer does not really address the consequences of the crowding and physical shortcomings of the institutions – the impacts on inmates and staff. But we sure hope you will keep them in mind as you consider the price of mass incarceration.
Institution: Columbia Correctional Institution, Portage
Classification: Maximum security
Capital budget request: $25,354,000
From the request: This project would construct a new 100-cell Transitional Housing Unit next to the current housing Unit 9 building for inmates with special program needs, including inmates needing to integrate back into general population after long periods in segregation. ...
The Transitional Housing Unit will be ADA compliant and able to accommodate inmates with special physical needs, such as being confined to a wheelchair. It would be preferable that at least 50% of the cells are on ground level, and would not require the use of a lift. At a minimum, in order for CCI to be ADA compliant, 16% of the cells must be built on ground level.
The Transitional Housing Unit will have single and double cells (approximately 20% of the total cells will be double cells). It will also have programming space for group and individual programming, a dayroom for eating meals and for recreation, a food servery for preparing meal trays, an officer’s control bubble, an officer’s workstation in the dayroom, storage space for supplies/equipment, storage space to house medications, a unit laundry for inmate clothing, and office space for staff such as clinicians, social workers, and housing unit management staff.
Expansion to the RH2 building will include program/treatment areas, staff offices, no-contact visiting space, and storage. In addition, the recreation pens will be covered to allow for outdoor recreation in all seasons.
The RH2 currently does not have any programming space, or adequate treatment space. Inmates are evaluated by health services staff and psychological services staff in the dayroom providing for no means of confidentiality. There is inadequate storage space requiring supplies to be stored in the open of the dayroom. There is no office space for staff in RH2, and staff currently uses limited office space in other buildings in the institution.
The new Transitional Housing Unit will be built to allow for flexibility in programming to meet the needs of the dynamic inmate population at CCI. This includes inmates needing to integrate back into general population after long stays in restrictive housing (greater than 120 days), inmates prone to self-harm, and inmates that struggle to function in general population. This might include inmates with temporary physical limitations (possibly after surgery), inmates with serious mental health issues, or inmates with gender identity disorders.
This type of flexibility in a housing unit is a critical need at CCI for the following reasons:
Inmates are evaluated by health services staff and psychological services staff in the dayroom providing for no means of confidentiality.
The environment in RH1 can be very loud and disruptive and not conducive to overcoming thoughts or behaviors of self-harm.
Institution: New Lisbon Correctional Institution, New Lisbon
Classification: Medium security
Capital budget request: $0
Institution: Oakhill Correctional Institution, Sturtevant
Classification: Minimum security
Capital budget request: $5,042,000
From the request: This project would install high efficiency boilers in various buildings at Oakhill Correctional Institution (OCI), designed to replace the existing central boiler steam system and underground steam piping, underground condensate piping, steam traps, and condensate tanks. ... A fourth boiler was added in 2006 and is primarily used is for low pressure summer loads. Upon completion of this project, the fourth boiler will be transferred to another DOC facility that is in need of a summer boiler.
By Gretchen Schuldt
While State Sen. Leah Vukmir expressed outrage that John Doe investigators cataloged some of her personal emails and Attorney General Brad Schimel said he did not understand why they would do that, the Doe investigators were just following good protocol, according to publications on digital investigations.
"If the case ever comes to trial, the investigator presenting the case must be able to prove ... the data was not modified during acquisition or analysis (chain of custody)," forensic analyst Michael Graves wrote in The Anatomy of a Digital Investigation.
Vukrmir (R-Brookfield), a candidate for U.S. Senate, said in a statement that “The upsetting news that my privacy was violated as personal emails between my daughter and I were obtained, read and kept by those who ran the John Doe investigation is absolutely appalling. This criminal behavior is inexcusable, and the individuals involved in this belong in prison."
Vukmir's emails were seized during the John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's campaign, according to Schimel's report, which indicated investigators had a warrant.
Attorney General Brad Schimel, in his new report on his Justice Department's investigation into the Doe investigation, said that Doe seized emails included "private medical information and other highly personal information. DOJ was unable to determine why investigators ever obtained, let alone saved and labeled, over 150 very private and very personal emails between a Senator and her child. ... ”
But Adam Stone, writing for Govtech Works, said, "One final word of advice from the FBI: Keep it all."
"Without the right protections, digital files can be easily deleted, edited, even fabricated," he wrote. "So documenting a digital chain of custody is all the more important. A compromised chain can undo a legal proceeding and lay waste to years of investigation. And all a defense attorney has to do is successfully raise concerns about potential tainting of evidence – that alone is enough, let alone demonstrating actual taint."
"One final word of advice from the FBI: Keep it all."
Keith Chval, in the article How to Preserve Digital Evidence in Case of Legal Investigation, says that each item seized in an investigation should be catalogued.
He quotes Patrick Zeller, a former high-tech prosecutor and litigator: "Because digital evidence is more susceptible to intentional or inadvertent alteration or destruction than many forms of evidence, it is critical that a witness be able to offer evidence upon which the judge can conclude that the data is in substantially the same condition as when it was seized."
"Walker's judges" is our effort to present information about Gov. Walker's appointees to the bench. The information is taken from the appointees' own judgeship applications.
In his application's cover letter to Walker, Hagedorn wrote, "One of the great honors of my life has been serving as your top advisor on judicial appointments. Many hours have been spent seeking and promoting those that share your judicial values, those that will leave a legacy for years to come."
Name: Brian K. Hagedorn
Appointed to: District 2 Court of Appeals
Appointment date: July 31, 2015. (Elected to a six-year term in 2015.)
Law School – Northwestern University
Undergrad – Trinity College, Deerfield, IL
High School – Wauwatosa West
2011 - present – Chief legal counsel, Office of Governor Scott Walker
2010 - 2011 – Assistant attorney general, Wisconsin Department of Justice
2009 - 2010 – Law clerk, Wisconsin Supreme Court
2006 - 2009 – Attorney, Foley & Lardner
Eastern District of Wisconsin
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Wisconsin State Bar
Legal experience as an advocate in criminal litigation, civil litigation, administrative proceedings: Worked as litigator, adjudicator, and in-house general counsel.
My experience isn't complete without noting my time as a law clerk on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. While there, I assisted Justice Gableman and the Court in well over 100 cases dealing with insurance disputes, criminal procedure, administrative law, and significant constitutional cases, to name a few.
Finally, in my current role, I serve as essentially the in-house general counsel for the Walker administration. Thus, though I have not been the attorney of record, I have played a significant role in overseeing quite possibly the most significant flurry of legislation-related litigation this state has ever seen. My role included overseeing the hiring and management of outside counsel, reviewing briefs, leading strategic discussions, participating in mock arguments, and sitting at the counsel table in federal and state courts. As such, I have been a key player in many cases in state and federal courts, from the trial level to the appellate level, including multiple cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Sample litigation includes nine separate cases challenging Act 10 in Wisconsin and federal courts (we won them all); four different cases challenging the Voter ID law in Wisconsin and federal courts (we won them all); a bankruptcy/Eleventh Amendment case in federal court (pending); a challenge to a law we signed reforming administrative rules (pending); and the recent constitutional challenge to the state's new right to work law (pending). In addition, I have played a key role in multistate cases Wisconsin has participated in as a party and as amicus in courts around the country, including many in the United States Supreme Court. I have been the Governor's counselor and the key strategic and legal contact in the Governor's Office for the Attorney General on our participation in these cases. Sample cases include multistate medicaid fraud, amicus work in U.S. Supreme Court criminal procedure cases, and significant constitutional cases like the challenges to the Affordable Care Act and the President's recent immigration orders.
Number of cases tried to verdict or judgment: Jury, 0; non-jury, 10; arbitration, 1; administrative bodies, 0.
Cases on appeal: Including my work as chief legal counsel in the Office of the Governor, I have been involved in some capacity in dozens of appellate cases, though my level of involvement has varied. It is worth noting as well that I participated in well over one hundred additional appeals as a law clerk at the Wisconsin Supreme Court. ...
In my current position, as noted above, I am involved in most major litigation involving the State of Wisconsin. Notable cases include the following:
Act 10 Litigation: I oversaw the hiring and management outside counsel, and in partnership with the Department of Justice, helped lead the State's defense in all 9 cases challenging Act 10. These cases led to two decision in the Seventh Circuit--WEAC v. Walker, 705 F.3d 640 (7th Cir. 2013) and Laborers Local 236 v. Walker, 749 F.3d 628 (7th Cir. 2014), and two decisions in the Wisconsin Supreme Court--State ex rel. Ozanne v. Fitzgerald, 798 N.W.2d 436 (Wis. 2011) and MTI v. Walker, 851 N.W.2d 337 (Wis. 2014). These cases covered issues in employment law, the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment, and core structural questions related to the separation of powers. I was deeply involved in strategy, editing briefs, and argument preparation.
Voter ID: I worked with the Department of Justice throughout two state court cases and two federal cases. The federal cases culminated in an opinion upholding the Voter ID law--Frank v. Walker, Lulac v. Deininger, 768 F.3d 744 (7th Cir. 2014). The same result was reached by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the two state cases--League of Women Voters v. Walker, 851 N.W.2d 302 (Wis. 2014) and NAACP v. Walker, 851 N.W.2d 262 (Wis. 2014).
Administrative Rules: I have worked very closely with the Department of Justice in crafting our legal arguments in defense of the Governor's power to approve administrative rules promulgated by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. ...
Same-sex marriage: I worked with the Department of Justice to prepare the defense of Wisconsin marriage laws. The Seventh Circuit ultimately held that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited Wisconsin from continuing to limit marriage to unions between one man and one woman. Baskin v. Bogan, Wolf v. Walker, 766 F.3d 648 (7th Cir. 2014).
The Governor's appointment powers: I worked with the Department of Justice in defense of the Governor's appointment powers vis-à-vis federal bankruptcy law. The Seventh Circuit issued a partial decision in Chasensky v. Walker, 740 F.3d 1088 (7th Cir. 2014) holding that the Governor enjoyed qualified immunity from the plaintiff's privacy and equal protection claims.
Significant multistate appeals I have worked on include our current challenge to the President's immigration laws (Texas v. United States, Fifth Circuit Case no. 15-40238) and the challenge to the Affordable Care Act (NFIB v. Sebelius, 132 S.Ct. 2566 (2012)). Indeed, it is fair to say I have been involved in most major multistate efforts around the country in some capacity, whether in cutting edge criminal law cases to ground-breaking cases dealing with core issues of federalism and religious freedom.
Two most significant cases:
State ex rel. Ozanne v. Fitzgerald (Wis. 2011)
I began assisting in the drafting of Act 10 not long after the Governor was inaugurated. We knew litigation would come, and come it did. But we did not expect the first legal fight to be over whether the legislature has the power to carry out its legislative role without judicial interference. Contrary to popular understanding, State ex rel. Ozanne was not about open government or even the merits of Act 10. It was about core separation of powers principles. Namely, does the Wisconsin Constitution permit a circuit court judge to tell the legislature how to follow the legislature's internal rules, and can a circuit court judge prevent a duly enacted bill from becoming law (separate distinct from the power to enjoin an unconstitutional law)? The case in circuit court was fraught with procedural irregularities; we felt our only recourse was to have the state bring an original action against the circuit court judge and the district attorney. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ultimately took the case and agreed with us that the circuit court had violated the separation of powers.
This case was important for several reasons. First, there have been few more consequential pieces of legislation in Wisconsin history. The public policy impact of this victory is hard to understate. Second, the separation of powers embodied in our Constitution is core to our freedom and to our republican form of government. The Wisconsin Constitution simply does not give the judiciary authority to act as it did. The Supreme Court recognized and remedied this, explaining that they granted the petition for original action "because one of the courts that we are charged with supervising has usurped the legislative power which the Wiconsin (sic) Constitution grants exclusively to the legislature." Id. at para. 7. Finally, this case is significant because the Court stepped into a complicated political situation to uphold the rule of law. Courts need to have the intellectual and moral courage to refrain, but also the intellectual and moral courage to step in--all of this in furtherance of their limited, but meaningful Constitutional role.
MTI v. Walker (Wis. 2014)
Following the procedural challenge to Act 10 in State ex. rel. Ozanne, a flurry of suits were filed challenging the substance. They followed two basic theories. One set of cases challenged the law on equal protection grounds, quibbling with legislative line drawing on general employees versus public safety employees, and arguing that prohibiting units of government from collecting union dues via payroll deduction violated the First Amendment. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected these theories and upheld Act 10 in its entirety in WEAC v. Walker, 705 F.3d 640 (7th Cir. 2013). The second set of cases argued that the provisions of Act 10 collectively imposed a burdensome and unconstitutional condition upon membership in a union in violation of the unions' First Amendment speech and association rights. One case was decided in the federal courts, with both Judge Conley and the Seventh Circuit rejecting this theory (Laborers Local 236 v. Walker, 749 F.3d 628 (7th Cir. 2013)). A separate case brought in state court came to the same outcome (WLEA v. Walker, Case No. 12CV4474). The third case making the same claims, but this time finding some early success, was MTI v. Walker.
The Dane County Circuit Court struck down several provisions of Act 10 under this unconstitutional conditions theory. The case also raised significant issues regarding the Wisconsin Constitution's home rule provisions. There were many wrinkles in the case procedurally as well. We fought vigorously over a stay of the lower court ruling, and had significant disagreements over the reach of the circuit court decision. We argued that the order was a declaration applicable only to the parties; the plaintiffs argued it was the legal equivalent of a Supreme Court decision. While the case had already been accepted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the circuit court entertained and granted a motion for contempt against the WERC Commissioners for enforcing Act 10 against non-parties. The Supreme Court ultimately used its superintending authority to vacate the contempt order. On the merits, the Supreme Court again upheld Act 10 in its entirety.
The public confusion, procedural wrangling, and political import of every move in this case made it at once thrilling and dismaying. It was incredibly frustrating to have legal theories handily and correctly rejected in nearly identical cases nonetheless create incredible uncertainty and protracted litigation in this case for three years. But this case represents an even more incredible triumph. Act 10 was a significant and complex piece of legislation challenged at every level with nearly unlimited resources by those who were unable to defeat it at the ballot box. Every legal challenge failed in its entirety, as each should have under the law. At the end of the day, apart from the underlying policy merits, the rule of law won.
Involvement in judicial, non-partisan, or partisan political campaign, committee, or organization: I was a member and later board member of the Kenosha County Republican Party from 2005-2009. In addition to various party-building activities, I assisted in various local races. In 2008, I was the county co-chair for the McCain campaign. Since taking on my role at the Governor's Office, I have, on my own time, given informal assistance and guidance to several judicial candidates.
Judicial or non-partisan candidates publically endorsed in the last six years: I do not recall all of the candidates who I have endorsed, but they include Justice David Prosser and (now Chief) Justice Patience Roggensack. I likely also gave my endorsement to several judicial appointees I met through the appointment process, but I do not know which, if any, would have listed me as having given a public endorsement.
Honors, prizes, awards received: In May 2014, I was named Trinity College alumnus of the year. I was honored at the graduation ceremony and gave brief remarks. I understand that I am the youngest award winner in the College's history. The award was given in recognition of "Outstanding Vocational Accomplishments, Community Leadership and Endeavors, and Meritorious Service and Commitment to Christ."
Memberships in bar associations and professional societies: ... I have been a member of the Eastern District Bar Association from roughly 2006-2014. I have also been a member of the State Bar Bench-Bar Committee since 2013.
In addition, I have long been a member of the Federalist Society, attending the national lawyers convention in Washington, D.C., attending local events, and helping to start the local lawyers chapter in Madison.
I do not recall all of the candidates who I have endorsed, but they include Justice David Prosser and (now Chief) Justice Patience Roggensack. – District 2 Appeals Judge Brian K. Hagedorn
Professional or civic organizations, volunteer activities, service in a church or synagogue, or any other activities or hobbies that could be relevant or helpful to consideration of the application:
I have always been involved in my local church, often in a leadership role. At my current house of worship, The Vine Church in Madison, I have taught Sunday School, served on the cleaning team, led a small group, and served as a host pastor facilitating weekly worship. My church also serves regularly at the Elizabeth House, a residential maternity and parenting program for moms-to-be. I've engaged in similar service at my prior houses of worship.
Describe any significant pro bono legal work in the last five years:
No answer given to this question. Instead, in answer to the next question regarding legal teaching or lecturing, the applicant said, “For ease, I will combine the answers” to the two questions.
Hagedorn listed speeches and lectures, including leading a Federalist Society panel discussion, “Act 10: A Postmortem,” in 2014. Other presentations included a speech on “Top Tips for Succeeding as Chief Counsel to a Governor” at a 2015 conference of top legal leaders at the state level.
Quotes: Why I want to be a judge – Broadly conceived, I believe engagement in public life through the law is my vocational calling. Central to that for me is a devotion to the rule of law, our written Constitution, and the separation of powers. A significant portion my time in the Governor's Office has been devoted to precisely these values, through litigation, management of executive branch duties, and overseeing the judicial appointment process. Promoting judges who believe in the rule of law, and have the intellectual and moral courage to live out this commitment, has been a driving passion for me. Joining the ranks of these public servants, then, is a natural extention (sic) of this vocational calling.
The appellate bench is an opportunity to serve people by upholding the rule of law. It is an opportunity to influence how law is done in our courts through excellent legal scholarship. It is an opportunity to do basic justice by ensuring, consistent with the law, that contracts are enforced, criminals are held accountable, and constitutional rights are respected. I am not pursuing this to achieve a title or career capstone. My commitment to promoting the public good through the judicial role is what drives me.
After many conversations with colleagues and mentors, I believe this role is a proper fit not only to my calling, but to my gifts as well. I love reading and writing and thinking about the law. I have, I believe, the temperment (sic) and mindset of a jurist. And I look forward to the kind of collaborative and collegial decision-making performed by an appellate panel. In short, this position seems to accord with my vocational mission, my skill set, and my interests. Few are so fortunate to have this alignment in their career path.
Best United States or Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion in the last thirty years – Coulee Catholic Schools v. LIRC (Wis. 2009)
This case, which I had the privilege of working on while clerking at the Supreme Court, concerned whether Wisconsin non-discrimination laws could apply to the termination of a teacher at a Catholic school. The Court rightly determined that both the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions precluded an age discrimination claim, and it did so using a legal approach I would seek to emulate.
First, the Court understood its proper role. It is not clear who would win a popular vote today in a conflict between a discrimination claim and religious freedom. But the Court's job was not to decide what was more valuable or important to society, or to balance the values. Rather, the Court's job was to determine whether the federal or state constitutions protected the religious school's power to decide how to govern itself. ...
A second notable and noble virtue of this opinion is its root in the text, particularly in its analysis of the Wisconsin Constitution. The Court states, "The authoritative, and usually final, indicator of the meaning of a provision is the text--the actual words used." … And rather than just subsuming the Wisconsin Constitution into the First Amendment, the Court lets the different and broader language speak for itself, and more firmly root its holding. ...
Worst United States or Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion in the last thirty years – Lee v. Weisman (1992)
In 1989, a principle at a middle school in Providence, Rhode Island invited a Jewish rabbi to lead a voluntary prayer at the voluntary graduation ceremony. The parents of one student objected, arguing that the First Amendment prohibited such an invitation. The United States Supreme Court agreed. As a policy matter, it is not clear to me that government-led prayers in public school are an altogether good thing. My disagreement with this case rests upon its weak jurisprudential foundations.
First, legal analysis of a constitutional provision should begin with the original public meaning of the clause itself. This case does none of that. The Establishment Clause was, at least in large part, a federalism provision leaving regulation of religion to the states. But even accepting that it has some enduring application against state and local action, it can't be read to proscribe activity the authors of the First and/or Fourteenth Amendments would have understood to be very much in compliance with the First Amendment, as Justice Scalia's dissenting opinion ably points out.
Constitutions should be read consistent with the original public meaning of its terms. – Hagedorn
Second, this case, and Establishment Clause jurisprudence generally, looks very little like law. Much of it has the symptoms of a Court discussing desireable social policy or the proper place of religion in public life, and then crafting a legal rule that makes sense in light of that policy. This is not how judges should make law; that is the legislature's job absent violation of a clear constitutional imperative. ...
Thus, the opinion may or may not reach a desireable (sic) social policy outcome. But it is not the kind of legal reasoning, either in quality or in first principles, that should mark the judicial craft. Courts are at the nadir of legitimacy when their decisions set social policy for the people without grounding it in the constitutional text the people themselves have adopted.
Judicial philosophy – A judicial philosophy must begin with a sober sense of the judiciary's role in our constitutional system. The framers of our federal and state constitutions created a tri-partite system of government; the legislative branch (generally with the consent of the head of the executive branch) makes the laws, the executive branch executes the laws duly enacted, and the judiciary declares--when cases come before it--what the law is as applied to the facts of that case.
This means that, excepting certain discretionary determinations like sentencing, personal political values should not have a place in the judicial task. Faced with litigation laden with political and policy implications, the judge must simply say what the law says. This is easy to say, but hard to do. In practice, every judge will face the temptation to allow his or her own biases--we all have them--to color a judicial determination. Resisting this temptation requires both moral and intellectual courage, as well as a healthy dose of humility and self-awareness.
This does not mean, of course, that judges are impotent and must always defer to the legislature. Indeed, the people are sovereign, and the people have adopted a written Constitution that is supreme over the statutory enactments of legislatures. A court striking down a statute as unconstitutional is inherent in the power to say what the law is. A court must declare statutes conflicting with the higher law adopted by the people in a constitution invalid; to not do so is abdication of the judicial role. The danger, of course, is that some see the constitution as primarily about "fairness" or "justice" and use it to overrule the supposedly inferior policy choices of the people. Again, the judicial branch may say what the law is when properly presented with a case, but it must resist the temptation to assume the power of judicial review with respect to legislation it simply finds personally offensive.
Finally, a judge's power to declare what the law is must be rooted in the proper interpretive tools. Statutes should be read to say what they actually say. Constitutions should be read consistent with the original public meaning of its terms. Interpretation begins, and usually ends, with a proper analysis of text, context, and structure. Lower courts should adhere to precedent. And judicially created analytical frameworks should be tethered to the text and provide clear notice and application to those it regulates.
By Gretchen Schuldt
This is part 3 of our look at state prisons, how crowded they are, and what the Department of Corrections said during budget preparation it needed to fix and maintain them. Part 1 is here; part 2 is here.
We will say this in every post because it is worth repeating: This primer does not really address the consequences of the crowding and physical shortcomings of the institutions – the impacts on inmates and staff. But we sure hope you will keep them in mind as you consider the price of mass incarceration.
Institution: Taycheedah Correctional Institution, Waupun
Classification: Women's prison
Capital budget request: $9,389,000
From the request: This project would construct a new 36,000 GSF modern style dorm housing unit, with some internal division for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) beds, beds for our aging population, and beds for general population inmates for a total of no less than 180 beds. Sufficient room needs to be included for the AODA programing to occur, for community service activities to continue, and for a servery and dayroom area to accommodate the dorm population.
Consideration should be given to the importance of separating the AODA program participants remaining from the other activities of the unit. DOC received a Block Grant of $150,000 which requires separation of the AODA participants from general population. Inmates participating in the AODA program typically do not have institution jobs, with their main focus on their programming needs.
AODA – Currently located in Adams Hall, which is the second oldest building at Taycheedah. Adams Hall is a 3-story brick building with general population on the 1st and 3rd floors, and a combination of general population and AODA participants on the second floor, for a total of about 170 inmates. Until recently, the second floor of Adams Hall occupied only the AODA participants. With the increase in female inmate population, the other two floors of Adams Hall have been opened with as many as 10 inmates to a room. Adams Hall was not originally constructed with indoor plumbing, rather it was retrofitted with plumbing in the cells in the 1970’s. Unfortunately, the plumbing leaks on a regular basis into areas on the first floor. Although doing their best, staff is not able to keep up with the repairs and maintenance concerns of this building. The thick walls and steam heat with no air exchange system make summers in Adams Hall often too hot to hold productive AODA groups. In the winter the hot water radiators with no controls make it equally difficult to regulate the temperature. Adams Hall also has a lack of cameras making it non-compliant with Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) guidelines.
The third floor of Harris Hall has deteriorated to the point it is no longer safe to occupy and the cost to renovate would be excessive. Adams Hall is also plagued with failing plumbing, failing concrete decorations on the exterior, lack of ventilation, and poor utilization of space.
Community Service and the Aging population – Currently Harris Hall is where inmates who are aging aspire to be housed. There are a limited number of beds available in this, Taycheedah’s oldest building, so a good conduct history is required to be assigned to Harris Hall. Because many of these same inmates also have an interest and skill in sewing and knitting, Community Service is currently run out of Harris Hall. The Community Service group is responsible for many of the quilts, blankets and other craft items donated back to the community via local nonprofit groups. Because of their age, health issues, and/or dependency on medical appliances, the new facility should be designed to meet current ADA standards. The design should include the ability to accommodate 20 or more inmates with physical limitations.
General Population Inmate - The current dorm is well received by the inmates housed there. The open style and social dynamic is easy to supervise and a good fit for the female offender population.
Servery – The servery must be able to accommodate both tray line service and delivery of modified medical diet prepared in Food Service and delivered to the unit. Refrigeration, proper hot storage, under the counter dish washer, hand washing, and plenty of storage will be required. The current dining facility at Prescott was designed to feed about 400 inmates; unfortunately our current population is over 800.
Unfortunately, the plumbing leaks on a regular basis into areas on the first floor. Although doing their best, staff is not able to keep up with the repairs and maintenance concerns of this building.
The female population is 200 inmates higher today than it was when the John C. Burke Correctional Center was converted to a male facility in December of 2011. The Wisconsin Women’s Correctional System has experienced a steady increase in population since December 2011; December of 2011 the population was 1,148; December of 2012 was 1,222; December 2013 was 1,230; December 2014 was 1,343; December 2015 was 1403; August 2016 (current) population is 1,360.
Both Adams Hall and Harris Hall were opened in the early 1900s. Neither building is considered accessible by today’s ADA standards. Each building has many HVAC, plumbing and exterior masonry issues. The third floor of Harris Hall has deteriorated to the point it is no longer safe to occupy and the cost to renovate would be excessive. Adams Hall is also plagued with failing plumbing, failing concrete decorations on the exterior, lack of ventilation, and poor utilization of space. Adams Hall is located on the northeast side of the institution grounds, away from the rest of the housing and many institutional services.
Construction of a new dorm will allow the DOC to replace two aging and expensive to maintain buildings. A new building will also allow for better supervision by security and better access for those with physical impairments to other institution facilities.
Adams did house a minimal amount of inmates at one time, but now it is full and the 1st and 3rd floors are staffed 24/7 with unallocated positions.
Institution: Waupun Correctional Institution, Waupun
Classification: Maximum security
Capital budget request 1: $6,981,000
From the request: This project would construct improvements that include: cell front doors, operators and locking mechanisms, ADA improvements, plumbing improvements, electrical upgrades, telephone upgrades, heating and ventilating improvements, security camera monitoring and recording improvements, and a fire suppression and smoke control system. ADA improvements for the building will be contained to those required for inmates including cells, showers and toilet facilities. Three inmate housing cells would be converted into two accessible cells, which would provide 2% of all cells required for compliance. ...
The existing fire protection system consists of a 2.5-inch fire main extending throughout the building to several Fire Hose cabinets. No fire suppression sprinkler system is currently in the building. ... The intent is to fully sprinkle, with detention sprinkler heads, the cells and inmate areas. The fire department connection will be extended outside the prison wall for easy access to the fire department. ...
Three inmate housing cells would be converted into two accessible cells, which would provide 2% of all cells required for (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.
The facility has a 20-ton water chiller with remote air-cooled condenser to provide tempered air to the basement. The two compressors for this unit are no longer working and the chiller is no longer in operation. ...
Additional cameras and equipment will be added as requested by the facility. Some existing cameras will be replaced with new as directed by the facility. The surveillance system will be connected to the Central Control via existing fiber backbone cabling. The Central Control existing system matrix will need to be reprogrammed for the additional cameras.
All 1960s vintage panels will be replaced with new equipment. The panel at the officer’s station cage is currently used to turn the ceiling and wall lighting on and off daily by switching circuit breakers. Breakers are not designed to be used as switches on a regular basis so new switches are required.
This building contains 59 single occupancy cells. It houses inmates with a wide range of issues including: Psychological disorders combined with behavioral instability and other needs in a "therapeutic community” environment. These inmates have an inability to function adequately within the general population. The original building was built in 1956 as a segregation unit. There was an addition to the building put on in 1982. There have not been any major upgrades to this building since it was built, nor to the addition. This is the only housing unit at WCI which has not had any of these improvements to date. A study was completed in 2011.
Capital budget request 2: $4,090,000
From the request: The DOC requests enumeration of $4,090,000 GFSB for the completion of water system upgrades for the Central Generating Plant located at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI). ...
This project would complete the water system upgrades for the Central Generating Plant, which provides water service to the Central Generating Plant, Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI), Dodge Correctional Institution (DCI) and Burke Correctional Center in Waupun. The project would provide for the planning, design, and construction of:
• Study for site selection of the new treatment system and well location.
• New Well No. 6 and Pump House. This well would ideally be located at the northwest portion of the DCI grounds at least 1,500 feet from Well No. 5. It would be finished in the lower sandstone aquifer and be approximately 650 feet deep.
• New water treatment facility. Construct a new treatment system, ideally located near Well No. 6.
• Abandonment of Well No. 5. This includes removal of the pump, installation of tremie pipe, placement of pea gravel and grout.
• Construct backwash system at the new treatment facility located at new Well No. 6. It is assumed the conveyance piping would be a gravity sewer discharging to the Waupun sanitary sewer system north of the DCI grounds, near Beaver Dam and Lincoln Streets. Rock excavation would be required as part of this installation. Pipe size is expected to be 36-inches.
• New remote pump house for Well No. 3 and No. 4. Connect Well No. 3 and No. 4 to the water treatment facility. Rock excavation will be required for this installation. ...
Well No. 5 and the second storage tank were constructed in 2013 to meet current and future water system demands. Both are located on the west side of the DCI grounds. Well No. 5 is an 800 foot deep sandstone aquifer well cased and grouted to a depth of 200 feet. Test pumping indicates the well will be able to provide a capacity of at least 800 gpm. This well has not yet been placed in service due to water quality issues. There is no pumping station facility to deliver water to the distribution system. ...
Section NR 809 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code sets forth regulations and standards for combined levels of radium 226 (Ra-226) and radium 228 (Ra-228) in drinking water. ... Radium is a naturally occurring radioactive element found in some waters obtained from the deep sandstone aquifer which underlies much of the southern half of Wisconsin. Samples from Well No. 3 and 4 indicate radium levels in these wells are considerably below the standard. Well No. 5, however, has not been put into service due to high radium levels in the samples.
After rehabilitation water samples from Well No. 5 still indicate water quality concerns causing Well No. 5 to remain out of operation. The City of Waupun has recently agreed to provide the CGP with water in the event of an emergency at the site.
In 2015, Well No. 3, 4 and 5 were rehabilitated by chemical treatment and mechanical agitation. Portions of these wells were also partially permanently abandoned. The purpose of this work was to attempt to improve water quality by reducing concentrations of combined radium, iron, and manganese. An additional purpose was to improve water quality by reducing and controlling microbiological activity and biofilms in these wells. Iron levels in Well Nos. 3 and 5 also remain high.
Mechanical and chemical rehabilitation of Well No. 3 was completed in April of 2015. ... The bottom 100 feet of the well was permanently abandoned. Water samples taken for Well No. 3 show improved water quality levels. ...
Rehabilitation of Well No. 5 was completed in February of 2015. This rehab consisted of mechanical agitation and chemical treatment similar to what was done for Wells 3 and 4. The bottom 320 feet of this well was also permanently abandoned. After rehabilitation water samples from Well No. 5 still indicate water quality concerns causing Well No. 5 to remain out of operation. The City of Waupun has recently agreed to provide the CGP with water in the event of an emergency at the site.
Institution: Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution, Plymouth
Classification: Medium security
Capital budget request: $33,627,000
From the request: This project would provide for the planning, design, and construction of two new housing units with 200 beds each to replace six original housing units each containing 65 beds built in 1962 and expanded in the 1970’s. This will be the first of three sequential projects to replace all of the original and temporary general population housing units at Kettle Moraine Correlational (sic) Institution (KMCI). ...
The construction of KMCI began in 1960 and the facility was opened in 1962 as a Boys School with a rated capacity of 287. Over the years, the Kettle Moraine Boys School has gradually transformed into the KMCI to reflect the growth and change in DOC and now houses over 1,000 inmates. The 12 original cottages are over 50 years old and were originally constructed to house 25 youthful offenders. Ten of the units were expanded in the 1970s to increase the occupancy to 35 adult inmates. There was another increase to the number of inmates housed in them. Additional changes to the housing units and cottages have increased capacity to 50 inmates in the cottages and 65 inmates in housing units. Age, overcrowding and the conversion from juvenile to adult inmates has taken its toll on the facilities. KMCI continues to face significant repair and maintenance issues.
Maintenance on the existing buildings has been deferred to the point that significant and costly repairs are needed to continue operations. The original construction of these units does not meet current building codes. The air handling and ventilation systems are out of date and in need of serious cleaning and service. The construction of the air handling system has made it virtually impossible for this to happen without having dramatic reconstruction by expansion of the service area which is located in the attic of each unit.
All of the doors and locks are obsolete and parts and supplies are next to impossible to find. Door replacement required custom construction because they are non-standard size. The windows in the units are not detention grade and are not energy efficient. This leads to frequent breakage and a problem maintaining inmate cell room temperatures.
The hot water supply is also fed from the same central housing unit and the same problems of distribution occur. The units at the end of the complex frequently get cold water. ... some of the key issues, such as staffing efficiency and occupant safety, remain unresolved.
The hydronic heating system is controlled in one central housing unit which supplies three satellite units. This type of system is very costly to maintain and should problems occur it affects 260 inmates well-being. The hot water supply is also fed from the same central housing unit and the same problems of distribution occur. The units at the end of the complex frequently get cold water. This set up is also costly and leads to inmate climate issues related to hot water. Electrical components are now obsolete and in need of replacement. There has been some asbestos containing materials (ACM) abated over the years but the floors have a significant amount of ACM. The tiles are giving way and a large abatement project is in need to deal with floor replacement should the units not be replaced.
Estimates for renovation of existing buildings have been done, but some of the key issues, such as staffing efficiency and occupant safety, remain unresolved. The life cycle of the current structures is coming to an end as the cost of maintaining them is becoming prohibitive.
More traffic stop tickets, arrests for black drivers in Milwaukee despite consistent arrest, citation rates
By Gretchen Schuldt
Despite bearing the bulk of the burden of traffic stops by police targeting high-crime areas, African-American drivers in Milwaukee were no more likely to be ticketed or arrested than their white counterparts, according to a Department of Justice draft report.
Arrests were made in just 2% of traffic stops of African-American drivers, the same rate as for white and Hispanic drivers, according to the draft report.
Because so many more black drivers were stopped, however, the actual number arrested - 6,247 from 2013 to 2015 - was the highest among the three groups. There were 1,216 Hispanics and 1,920 whites arrested after traffic stops over the same time period.
That number / ratio disparity is true with citations as well. Black drivers and white drivers received traffic citations in 15% of stops, but because so many more black drivers were stopped - 273,712 compared to 88,037 - the number of traffic citations issued to black drivers was three times higher than the number issued to whites - 41,629 compared to 13,315.
Hispanic drivers received 8,766 traffic citations, or in 16% of stops.
Because high-crime areas generally correlate with low-income areas, the police strategy likely results in many more fines for low-income black residents in the city.
For the three races considered, the most likely outcome in a traffic stop was a verbal warning, which was given in 74% of cases involving white and African-American drivers and in 71% of cases involving Hispanics. (The Police Department prohibited verbal warnings in 2015.)
A simple stop could take as long as 45 minutes, even if it resulted in only a warning, the report says. The time involved can exacerbate "the negative impact of data-driven policing on the community," the report says.
The draft report, the Department of Justice Collaborative Reform Initiative Assessment Report, says that the Milwaukee Police Department focused enforcement efforts in high-crime areas, or "hot spots."
While data-driven policing is effective, the report says, "what police do at those locations can have both positive and negative consequences for crime and community trust."
Officers interviewed, the report says, were skeptical of the traffic stop strategy. "They were never told of the rationale behind the focus on the traffic stops, they did not believe that the traffic stop strategy would reduce crime, and they feel pressured to conduct traffic stops," the report says.
In addition, although the department denied it had a quota, "many officers indicated that the felt they had a quota of two traffic stops per shift," the report says. "If they did not achieve those numbers, the believed there would be some sort of retribution."
Community members participating in the study said they understood that police were focusing on high-crime areas, but "they felt that many innocent individuals are being stopped, harassed, and detained unduly simply because they lived in the community. ... We also heard complaints about 'curbing,' where individuals are asked to move away from their stopped car and sit on the curb or sidewalk while an officer interviews a driver or searches the car. Community members felt this practice was biased and disrespectful. ..."
By Gretchen Schuldt
How long can the Department of Corrections ignore the increasing numbers of prison inmates with some sort of disability?
At least another two years, according to the state budget.
DOC asked for $42.6 million to build a facility for those inmates. The State Legislature and the governor authorized $0. It will study the issue instead.
This is part 2 of our look at state prisons, how crowded they are, and what the Department of Corrections said during budget preparation it needed to fix and maintain them. Part 1 is here.
This primer does not really address the consequences of the crowding and physical shortcomings of the institutions – the impacts on inmates and staff. But we sure hope you will keep them in mind as you consider the price of mass incarceration.
Institution: Dodge Correctional Institution, Waupun
Classification: Maximum security
Capital budget request: None
Institution: Jackson Correctional Institution, Black River Falls
Classification: Medium security
Capital budget request: None
Institution: Milwaukee Women's Correctional Center, Milwaukee
Classification: Minimum Security
Capital budget request: None
Institution: Proposed assisted living facility
Classification: Medium security
Capital budget request: $42,662,000
From the request: This project would build a new facility to help the DOC address the growing number of inmates – regardless of age – that require living or program accommodations, increased access to medical resources due to a lack of mobility, diminishing cognitive ability, poor physical health, or other impairments that prevent an inmate from being fully independent. Additionally, specialized services are becoming necessary for some inmates due to complications associated with aging such as severe mobility issues, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and other medical conditions. ...
In the DOC system inmates requiring assisted living are currently housed throughout the entire Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) system of institutions. Several institutions such as the Dodge Correctional Institution infirmary or Oshkosh Correctional Institution have a relatively high concentration of these inmates.
Total inmate population within DAI has remained relatively constant over the past 10 years, while the number of inmates over the age of 45 has been steadily increasing. The number of inmates 45 years of age or older was 3,421 in July 2003 and 5,906 in July 2012. This is a 73% increase over a 10 year period or an average annual increase of over 6%.
As of March 2013, inmates 40 years or older with sentences of 20 or more years to release was 1,374. This older population will likely be spending their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s in a DOC institution. ...
The number of inmates 45 years of age or older was 3,421 in July 2003 and 5,906 in July 2012. This is a 73% increase over a 10 year period or an average annual increase of over 6%.
In March 2008, a DAI Site ADA Accessibility Survey indicated there were 286 inmates requiring the use of a wheelchair. Of the 286 wheelchair users, 166 were permanent users and 32 were in oversized wheelchairs. These inmates will require ADA cells, showers, bathrooms, access to electrical outlets to run medical appliances, etc.
Other inmates are not necessarily wheelchair bound but have other disease such as cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. As these inmates progress in their disease, they typically need an increased level of medical attention or other accommodations. For example, an inmate with short-term memory loss can still be held in a GP cell, but may need constant reminders to take their on-person medication, have a hard time remembering which cell is theirs, requires a lower bunk and may need a bathroom located nearby. These inmates often develop other comorbidities such as hypertension, liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, and/or significant cardiovascular conditions.
Without an assisted living facility the number of inmates requiring HSU and infirmary care will continue to increase. HSUs and infirmary units do not have the staff, space or equipment to deal with these patients on a regular basis. HSUs and infirmaries will need to be expanded to include:
• Access to “24/7” on-site medical resources.
• Medication distribution and monitoring needs.
• Access to on-site specialized therapies such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and recreational therapy.
• Specialized transport services by DOC that accommodate disability or medical needs.
• Effective access to local, off-site emergency responders and ambulance services.
In addition to these improvements, housing improvements will also need to include the following:
• Activities for daily living.
• Access to cells meeting the minimum ADA width door frames and turning radius for wheelchairs.
• Access to toilets/showers/bathing (currently for prisons ADA requires 5% or one accessible stall, whichever is greater. For long term care facilities, ADA requires at least 50% of accessible toilets).
• Single bed cells versus bunk beds.
• Bed rails.
• Electrical outlets and shelving to accommodate required medical equipment.
By Gretchen Schuldt
There are wide racial disparities in traffic stops in Milwaukee, with African-Americans bearing the brunt of the burden, according to the Department of Justice's draft report on the Milwaukee Police Department.
Blacks were stopped more than three times as often as whites, according to the report. There also were huge disparities in whose cars got searched, according to the report.
The report's findings help explain the vast racial gap in Milwaukee felony second offense marijuana possession cases, many of which stem from traffic stops Milwaukee police make for minor infractions. WJI is tracking felony marijuana cases here and here.
The department, the report says, believes that traffic stops allow officers to proactively police and "form the basis for a relationship between MPD and the community."
The department also believes that enforcement in high-crime areas as a way to disrupt crime, the report says.
Police went so far as to target certain vehicle makes – such as Dodge mini-vans – for stops because they were more likely to be stolen.
"Critics have ... expressed concern that the traffic program will be disproportionately applied against members of ethnic and racial minorities," the report says. "Given the program's focus on high-crime neighborhoods, which are predominately populated by people of color, it is difficult to dispute that this program disproportionately affects the African-American and Hispanic communities."
The DOJ team analyzed the department's traffic stops and "found MPD's traffic stop program to be marked by significant racial disparities, the study said. "Specifically, African Americans are stopped three times more than White residents, but account for only two percent more of the city's population than Whites."
The disparity is citywide, but is especially high in police districts with a higher proportion of white residents, the report says.
Police searched three times as many African-American drivers and their cars than they did white drivers and their cars, according to the report.
The statistics cover the 2013-15 time period and include both consensual and non-consensual searches. The Police Department since has stopped consensual searches without a reason for suspicion.
By Gretchen Schuldt
The state's prison populations are rising, and there are plenty of bills pending in the State Legislature that would increase inmate counts even more.
The state will spend more than $2.5 billion on the Department of Corrections this biennium, and that price tag does not show any signs of declining.
The problem is, the state is running out of places to house its inmates. The prisons are already significantly overcrowded and some of them need millions of dollars of maintenance and repair work.
The Department of Corrections submitted numerous capital budget requests to help deal with crowding and maintenance issues, but most were rejected. Instead, Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature established a study committee to talk about it.
WJI is launching this primer to help people understand the issues confronting the committee. We will look at individual facilities, how crowded they are, and what DOC said during budget preparation it needed to fix and maintain them.
The crowding and physical shortcomings of the institutions has enormous impacts on inmates and staff that are not addressed in budget requests. We sure hope you will keep those impacts in mind as you consider the price of mass incarceration.
Institution: Wisconsin Secure Program Facility, Boscobel
Classification: Maximum security
Capital budget request: $8.87 million for inmate programs building
From the request: This project ... would provide an area to meet the educational, programming, religious practice, and recreational needs of 336 general population inmates. The need for inmate programing and activities could be better met with appropriate space and much more efficiently delivered. Any existing space that could be remodeled and repurposed has already been allocated.
The current facility was constructed in 1999 to house restricted status inmates. ... Since that time, three and a half of the housing units have been converted to house 336 general population inmates. Only one of the housing units has day room space for activities. This space is being used for dining, education, programming, library and religious needs of the inmates. ... The existing indoor recreation space is very limited. There is no existing space for hobby or community service programs which are currently conducted in cell only.
Institution: Fox Lake Correctional Institution, Fox Lake
Classification: Medium security
Capital budget request 1: $3.0 million for drinking water system improvements
From the request: This project would construct a new filter/treatment building located near the existing well (or wells) with high levels of iron and manganese at Fox Lake Correctional Institution (FLCI). Additionally, this project would provide for cleaning and sampling at selected building locations to determine the design parameters for the new filter/treatment building. ...
In November 2013, FLCI received a Notice of Violation due to lead and copper levels in the drinking water. After approximately two years of working to correct the lead and copper levels to meet current WDNR standards, the lead and copper levels at FLCI are now well below action levels.
The DNR stated this violation was issued due to the number of resident and staff complaints about the water received by the DNR at various points in the past.
In October 2016, the DNR issued a Notice of Violation to FLCI for exceedance of the secondary drinking water standard for iron and manganese. Secondary drinking water standards are “aesthetic” and relate to taste, odor, color, etc. The DNR stated this violation was issued due to the number of resident and staff complaints about the water received by the DNR at various points in the past.
The DOC, DOA, and DNR staff are currently working together to develop a Consent Order that will lay out the corrective steps to be taken at FLCI to reduce iron and manganese in the water. A study has been initiated to determine how to best minimize these aesthetic complaints and the iron and manganese levels in the water at FLCI
Capital Budget request 2: $19,951,000 for phase 1 of a housing unit replacement
From the request: This project would construct a new housing unit with 200 beds (120 units) to replace one original housing unit containing 96 rooms and 198 beds built in 1962. ...
Maintenance on the existing buildings has been deferred to the point that significant costly repairs are needed to continue in operation. The original ventilation construction relied on transoms and door undercuts with the corridors functioning as air plenums. This design is not allowed with current building codes due to the risk of fire spread, and air supply and return ducts would be needed for each cell.
All of the door locks are obsolete with parts no longer available domestically. ... Efforts to make currently available locks fit the existing doors have been unsuccessful.
This design is not allowed with current building codes due to the risk of fire spread, and air supply and return ducts would be needed for each cell.
Windows in the old buildings are not detention grade, and shards from broken windows have been used as weapons. Roofing for all housing buildings needs to be replaced. There is no perimeter drain tile for the buildings, and basements regularly fill with water. Electrical components are now obsolete and in need of replacement. Asbestos containing materials (ACM) have been abated as needed over time, but there is still a significant presence of ACM in the buildings.
The layout of the older buildings has been problematic and each building requires two sergeants, where the newer buildings in the DOC system with this security level contain more beds and can be staffed with a single sergeant. Building layouts are not fully compliant with federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) guidelines.
Institution: Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility, Chippewa Falls
Classification: Minimum security
Capital budget request: $4,351,000 for utility building and boiler replacement
From the request: This project would construct a new central utility building and install a new utility system. ... A central steam boiler plant located on the Northern Wisconsin Center campus (currently owned by DHS Department of Health Services) provides steam for CVCTF, and buildings owned by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Military Affairs. ...
The chilled water used for cooling is generated by a 400 ton centrifugal chiller and an associated evaporative cooling tower located at the CVCTF. The chiller is in poor shape, utilizes a CFC refrigerant, and needs to be replaced. (
The Northern Wisconsin Center (NWC) has exceeded its useful life for the Department of Health Services and the future of this facility is unknown. Currently, CVCTF purchases about 25% of the steam currently produced by the NWC central power plant. If something happened to the NWC central power plant, DOC would be partially responsible the repairs to the facility. With an uncertain future of the power plant, this project will provide planning, design and replacement of the heat and hot water service from NWC with an onsite system.
By Margo Kirchner
The automatic aftereffects of a criminal conviction – exclusive of the sentence – can hit someone like “a ton of bricks,” according to Gabriel “Jack” Chin, a law professor at the University of California-Davis.
Chin delivered the Marquette University Law School’s annual Barrock Lecture on Criminal Law last week.
Chin noted that about 60% of felons are sentenced to probation instead of prison, not warranting severe punishment as part of the sentence. But the collateral consequences of a felony conviction hit hard across the board. Collateral consequences differ from state to state but, according to Chin, can include:
Significantly, such collateral consequences last a lifetime, except for the rare pardon or expungement.
And the number of consequences a person faces can grow, as new ones can be imposed on old convictions. A felon’s move to another state can mean additional restrictions.
Modern courts generally view collateral consequences as civil regulatory measures rather than as punishment. As a result, except as to deportation, neither defense counsel nor a judge accepting a plea deal is required to inform a defendant of any of the myriad collateral consequences the conviction will bring.
The scattering of collateral consequences throughout federal and state statutes and regulations adds to a defendant’s or attorney’s difficulty in grasping their full scope, in Chin’s view, and efforts are underway in many states to compile them. (In Wisconsin, the State Public Defender, in partnership with the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, maintains a compilation at http://wisconsin.ccresourcecenter.org/.)
Chin estimated that about 75 million adults in America have criminal records, so these consequences affect a substantial portion of the country’s population. He noted the cost to society when a person who could make a living and contribute cannot due to collateral consequences. He noted as well the cost to society in denying forgiveness and redemption to felons, citing President George W. Bush’s 2004 speech stating that America is the land of the second chance.
Chin said that he is not a “prison abolitionist”; he prosecutes sex offenders in addition to his job in academia. But he believes that at some point people should be allowed to move on. He noted some of the common reforms suggested in recent projects and studies: that attorneys and judges during criminal cases advise defendants about collateral consequences; that each state maintain a compilation of all collateral consequences; that a judge consider collateral consequences at sentencing and have the power to waive some of those consequences; and that after a number of years felons be allowed to request and obtain an end to those consequences.
Chin also suggests that courts reform ex post facto clause legal doctrine to stop the addition of new consequences years after a sentence was imposed and served. The U.S. Constitution’s ex post facto clause prohibits prosecution for action that was legal when taken, but later made illegal. It also prohibits laws that increase the punishment for crimes already committed.
According to Chin, the modern U.S. Supreme Court has misinterpreted long-standing precedent to view collateral consequences as civil forfeitures rather than as punishment. As a result, under current U.S. Supreme Court case law, Chin said, new consequences can be added at any time (until the death of the offender). He advocates instead for a return to principles discussed by the Supreme Court in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which allowed for application of the ex post facto clause to any law that adds a collateral consequence to an offense after the offense is committed.
In his 2004 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush stated:
Tonight I ask you to consider another group of Americans in need of help. This year, some 600,000 inmates will be released from prison back into society. We know from long experience that if they can't find work or a home or help, they are much more likely to commit crime and return to prison.
So tonight, I propose a four-year, $300 million Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative to expand job training and placement services, to provide transitional housing and to help newly released prisoners get mentoring, including from faith-based groups.
America is the land of second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.
By Gretchen Schuldt
The State Department of Corrections was unsure it could find enough contract beds in jails to house prison overflows even before State Sen. Leah Vukmir introduced a bill that could increase the prison population by an estimated 1,800 inmates per year, records show.
Vukmir (R-Brookfield), who is running for the U.S. Senate, is co-author of a bill that would require the Department of Corrections to recommend revocation of probation or extended supervision for anyone charged with a new violent misdemeanor or any felony.
The State Senate approved the bill this week. Recidivism is down sharply in Wisconsin.
DOC already was expecting that new, tougher drunk driving laws would mean that an additional 1,205 inmates would be sentenced to prison by the end of the law's second year, DOC said in its 2017-19 budget request.
The department's adult division already is contracting for beds in county jails to house prison inmates, the budget request said. "It is believed there are not enough contract beds available around the state to house the projected populations,” DOC said in its budget request.
The department, projected a need for 695 contract inmate beds in fiscal 2018 and 1,902 contract beds in fiscal 2019.
DOC estimates Vukmir’s revocation bill would send an additional 1,800 people to prison per year and cost the state $57 million per year, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
There has not yet been any official fiscal estimates made of the overall cost of the bill, according to public documents available on the Legislature's website. The Journal Sentinel reported that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has hired the Council of State Governments to estimate the cost, something generally done by state agencies.
In public hearing testimony, Vukmir said that "Wisconsin's approach to criminal justice should be a two-pronged philosophy. Ensuring violent repeat offenders are no longer terrorizing our communities is as equally important as implementing alternatives to incarceration, if not more so."
Her bill, however, would ensnare far more than violent offenders -- it would force a revocation recommendation if a person picked up any felony - even second offense marijuana possession - while on probation or parole.
The Senate bill also provides no relief for individuals cleared of a crime or found not guilty in court. The Assembly version of the bill allows the department to change its recommendation if either of those things occur.
Vukmir's proposal, according to the State Public Defender's office, "will have several impacts which are more severe than perhaps anticipated by the author."
The Senate bill provides no relief for individuals cleared of a crime or found not guilty in court.
One issue is a "potentially unconstitutional burden shift for extended periods of incarceration," the public defender's office said in March testimony.
There are times that new charges are not pursued in cases involving people on supervision; their status is simply revoked and they go to prison. Revocation does not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, as convicting someone does; it requires only the same probable cause standard a prosecutor needs to issue charges, the agency said.
In addition, a violation during a term of supervision can result in re-incarceration for the full term, it said. A person serving 10 years of extended supervision who commits a crime in the ninth year can be incarcerated for the full 10 years, the agency said.
"This bill may result in a significant number of new prison terms, which will neither be cost effective nor have a substantially beneficial impact on future criminal behavior," the public defenders office said.
And the League of Women Voters was short and sweet: "With the Wisconsin prison population on the rise, removal of DOC discretion here is similar to increasing mandatory sentencing, the continued expansion of a bloated Corrections budget.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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