"Recently, the State of Wisconsin’s Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls have been investigated by the FBI concerning allegations of sexual assault and child abuse. As Racine residents, we thank the county officials who had the foresight to create a youth corrections facility that allows incarcerated troubled youth to remain in this community- not exposed to the criminal activity that has been allowed in the state institutions.

"We also acknowledge that the Racine county program saves tax dollars, protects the inmates and has better outcomes for our youth as measured by recidivism rates. Thanks to all who took the initiative to create, support and grow that program.

"Some local pols have said that criticism of the state youth corrections programs are somehow political and disingenuous and that the incidents reported at those facilities are 'isolated incidents.' That is simply not the case. Wisconsin’s youth corrections facilities are part of a deeply troubled Department of Corrections that fails to serve the citizens of our state. For example:

"Wisconsin leads the country in the incarceration of black men. The U.S. average is 6.7 percent. Wisconsin’s rate is 12.8 percent. The second-highest state is Oklahoma with a rate of 9.7 percent.