By Journal Sentinel of the
"Milwaukee County juvenile court judges in the past month have approved transferring only four teens from the troubled Lincoln Hills juvenile prison
back to the county after reviewing the criminal histories of 20 youth
along with needs for education, behavioral and health services,
officials said Wednesday.
"The slow progress in removing all
county youth from both Lincoln Hills School for Boys and the adjacent
Copper Lake School for Girls, located 30 miles north of Wausau, is due
to a lack of capacity in the county to treat juvenile offenders, Circuit
Court Chief Judge Maxine White said.
"White said she is pushing the county
Department of Health and Human Services to speed up its multiyear
timetable for adding capacity in both detention facilities and
community-based services. She spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the County
Board's health and human needs committee.
"Concern for safety of the youth at the state-run prison was prompted by an ongoing federal and state investigation
into allegations of abuse, neglect, sexual assault and excessive use of
force. The investigation was revealed publicly after an early December
law enforcement raid of the prison in Irma in Lincoln County.
"In January, after visiting the prison, White described treatment of youth there as 'inhumane.'
"On Feb. 4, the County Board declared a "state of emergency"
and agreed to remove all county teenagers from Lincoln Hills and Copper
Lake. The number at the time was reported at 170 to 172.
"Although county juvenile court judges
have sentenced a few of the most serious juvenile offenders to the
northern prison since that time, the most recent census provided by
state corrections officials reported the number of Milwaukee County
youth there at 140, according to Health and Human Services Director
"But county court and human services
officials were not notified of where those juveniles were taken after
their release from prison, White said. 'Where are the 32?' she said."
Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/county-officials-bemoan-pace-of-removing-teens-from-lincoln-hills-b99684627z1-371561461.html
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