March 16, 2010

 

Taylor applauds final approval of
Becky Young Community Justice Funds


Bi-partisan investment in reducing recidivism caps work on corrections reform

(MADISON) Senator Lena C Taylor today applauded the Joint Finance Committee’s approval of the $10 million expenditure of the Becky Young Community Justice Fund.  The fund, which was created in Act 28, the biennial state budget, is dedicated to funding programs to reduce recidivism and create averted savings in the corrections budget.  The committee on Justice Reinvestment Oversight, which Taylor chaired, found that without this investment, the state faced a $2.4 billion cost over 10 years to build the needed prisons to facilitate offenders.

“Today’s bi-partisan vote on the Becky Young Fund was Wisconsin’s largest single investment in community corrections, which will help reduce recidivism and drive down prison-building costs,” Taylor commented.  “Despite the partisan shots and fears being raised, expert analysis and best practices have prevailed and will be funded and held accountable to reverse the horrendous corrections policies of the ‘90’s.  Without this investment, Wisconsin would be bankrupt by the prison building needed in the future.”

Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), who was a member of Taylor’s Justice Reinvestment committee, voted with Democrats to provide the funding.  The funding will be made available to agencies and contractors on July 1st of this year.  Taylor also thanked Rep. Joe Parisi (D-Madison) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) for their work on this initiative.

The Becky Young Community Justice Fund was named after former State Representative Rebecca Young of Madison who was a passionate advocate for corrections reform.  Taylor was awarded the first annual Becky Young Community Justice Award in 2009 from WISDOM for her work on corrections reform.