February 23, 2018

Volume 4 Issue 3


State Representative Janel Brandtjen


There has been a great number of events these past few weeks regarding the issues of crime and public safety. Earlier this year, Governor Walker announced a plan to repurpose the Lincoln Hills Juvenile Correctional Institute. I'd like to dedicate this e-update to some very significant bills that will go a long way to promote public safety.

SB 54 - This is a long overdue piece of legislation that Republicans, including myself, have been pushing for relentlessly. Right now, criminals who are on extended supervision, parole, or probation who commit additional crimes may not have their probation revoked. This has been a loophole. Criminals who are knowledgeable of Milwaukee's justice system have taken advantage of this loophole. The hold up on the bill was a fiscal estimate that suggested that sending criminals on parole or probation back to jail would cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The Department of Corrections also said that we would need to build a new prison.

This is a very concerning situation and should concern us all. The people who we trust to keep us safe are telling us that there are so many criminals out committing crimes that we would need to build a new prison to lock them away. It has been my position that if we need to build a new prison, then build it. The Assembly authorized $350 million for a new prison and Governor Walker has signaled that he is willing to do what is necessary to keep Wisconsin safe, and SB 54 is headed to his desk for his signature.

AB 953 - The Wisconsin juvenile detention centers for our most serious juvenile offenders are Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. Under this bill, the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake state facilities will be repurposed by July 1, 2020. Instead of being sent to state facilities, serious juvenile offenders will be sent to secure county facilities that will be under the supervision of the Department of Corrections and county departments. Now, those juveniles will be kept in facilities in the county where they were sentenced. This was a bipartisan agreement to overhaul our juvenile justice system, replacing Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake with regional teen lockups. State facilities would continue holding serious juvenile offenders, while county facilities would secure juveniles committing lesser crimes.

In addition, AB 953 creates a grant program in the Department of Corrections that will approve grants to help counties cover 95% of the cost of establishing such facilities. This bill is a sign of the commitment my colleagues in the Legislature and I have to improving the safety of our communities, reforming youth criminal justice, and reducing the overall taxpayer burden.

AB 90 - This bill expands the list of offenses that would allow prosecutors and the courts to place a juvenile into the Serious Juvenile Offender Program (SJOP). Under current law, a juvenile offender may only be placed in SJOP for certain serious offenses. Under this bill, a juvenile offender may be placed in SJOP for any crime that would be considered felony if committed by an adult.

SB 55 - Under current law, a court must sentence someone convicted of felony murder or second degree intentional homicide to a minimum sentence of three and a half years if the offender has a previous conviction for either those two crimes or any other that would warrant a sentence of life imprisonment. This bill increases the mandatory minimum sentence to five years and expands previous convictions to include many more serious offenses.

SB 56 - Under current law, a court must sentence someone convicted of illegally possessing a firearm to a sentence of three years if the offender had been incarcerated anytime during the previous five years. This bill mandates that a court must also sentence someone to that three year sentence if the offender was found to be illegally possessing a firearm while on probation or parole.

SB 58 - This bill designates carjacking, the taking of a vehicle from the owner by force, as a Class E felony, punishable by an up to $50,000 fine and/or a prison sentence of up to 15 years. In addition, SB 58 also increases the classification of a repeat offense for taking and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent from a Class H to a Class F felony, punishable by an up to $25,000 fine and/or a prison sentence of up to 12 and a half years.

These are just a small sampling of the things the Assembly passed this week. I am extremely proud of the things we have accomplished, especially when it comes to getting serious on crime in Wisconsin.

God Bless Wisconsin!



AJR 107 Honoring Bob Gannon

Left to right: Representative Janel Brandtjen, Bryce Gannon, Senator Duey Stroebel, Kris Gannon and Representative Rick Gundrum

Read the Assembly Joint Resolution Here












Rep.Brandtjen@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 221 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepJanel                 Website:http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/22/brandtjen                                                                 Twitter: @RepJanel

To unsubscribe please reply to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject box.