May 11, 2011

 

SENATE REPUBLICANS MOVE WISCONSIN TOWARDS $2.5 BILLION IN PRISON BUILDING & CORRECTIONS COSTS

GOP Senate Ignores National Conservative Principles, Fail to Lead to Save Prisons Costs

(MADISON) Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) expressed her dismay that Republicans have rolled back sentencing reforms in Wisconsin that put the state back on track of 2.5 billion dollars in prison building over the next 10 years. “Wisconsin does not need to spend 2.5 billion on prisons in the coming years, lets target that money to our schools, and creating jobs. The justice system is broken and is bankrupting us.  We do not need to move backward.” says Senator Taylor.   The bill before the body, Senate Bill 57, repealed the sentencing modifications made in the 2009 budget. 

Taylor offered an amendment to the bill that would restore the proposals for sentencing reforms that were recommended by the Council on State Governments Justice Center staff during the Justice Reinvestment Initiative in Wisconsin.  These proposals attacked the problem of recidivism which is the main driver in Wisconsin’s prison population.  Similar proposals have been overwhelmingly adopted in other states, such as Kansas, Texas, and as recently as last week in Ohio.  Taylor noted that Republican leaders such as Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist have endorsed such corrections reform principles such as those in Taylor’s amendment.  (www.rightoncrime.org)

“Its unfortunate that Republicans chose to ignore their own conservative leaders and plunge us back into the failed prison building policies they adopted in the 90’s.  Other Republicans around the nation have worked across the aisles to move reforms forward.  Where is the leadership from Wisconsin Republicans.”  Taylor concluded.  The bill now moves to the Assembly, where a vote is expected next week.