By Gretchen Schuldt
The regular inmate population at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility rose 7% in two weeks, reversing several weeks of decline, according to the most recent prison population figures from the State Department of Corrections.
MSDF has the largest number of staff – six – testing positive for the corona -virus among state correctional institutions, according to DOC figures. No person incarcerated at MSDF has tested positive for coronavirus, according to DOC.
Overall, the number of people incarcerated at MSDF for reasons other than probation or parole violations / holds rose from 417 on April 17 to 446 on Friday, May 1, according to the figures.
A DOC spokeswoman, asked why the population increased, said that correctional facility populations tend to fluctuate.
Despite the increase over the last two weeks, the number of people in MSDF incarcerated for other than probation and parole issues has declined significantly since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis in March. There were 577 people held on Feb. 28, so the 446 held Friday represents a decline of 131 people, or 23%.
The number of people on probation or parole who were incarcerated at MSDF also rose last week, from 214 to 218, an increase of 2%. Overall, since Feb. 28, the number of people housed at MSDF for probation- and parole-related reasons dropped from 371 to 218, a 41% decline.
The decline in the number of filled prison beds continues to be very slow. Since Gov. Evers declared a public health emergency on March 12, the prison population has declined by an average of 139 people per week. Much of that decline can be attributed to DOC's decision to stop accepting new inmates from counties.
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