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My colleagues and I unveiled the Tougher on Crime bill package at a press conference this week.

January marks the month of Governor Evers’ first year in office. Coming from two different parties, I knew we would have differences but I had hoped for some common sense middle ground. As the year has progressed, it’s remarkable how little respect he has for the safety of its citizens in the 22nd Assembly District. The Department of Corrections, which I have been at odds with, is now running with a different mindset than the previous administration. Ultimately, I need to protect you and your families from a Department and a Governor who is willing to confiscate guns from legal owners but unwilling to charge repeat felons with gun possession. A safe community is the only way to grow families and businesses, and an unwillingness to remove lawbreakers creates chaos in the community.

This week we are taking on crime on with three bills:

Probation and Parole Reforms

The first two bills deal with probation and parole reforms. We need to start revoking parole and probation for those who commit additional crimes. The purpose of parole and probation is to give offenders an opportunity to build a better life, not to commit more crimes. I have authored a bill that would direct the Department of Corrections to recommend revoking parole or probation when criminals reoffend. Time and time again we learn that the criminals who commit the most serious crimes, and hence inflict the most damage upon innocent victims, are either on parole or out on bail for previous crimes. We will also look to limit probation and early release for those who commit violent crimes. Serious crimes warrant serious deterrents. If we can assure swift justice, many criminals can be steered away from such activities.

Retail Theft affects the Entire Community

I have also authored a third bill that deals with retail theft. Habitual criminals (professional, career), like car thieves and drug dealers, who choose retail theft as their “profession” understand that the Milwaukee Court System (and every other major city) are extremely hesitant to sentence criminals to jail for nonviolent crimes. However, as stated above, retail theft when left unchecked, can ruin businesses and eliminate investment in certain areas of the city. The bill we put forward calls for a minimum 180-day sentence for a third conviction of retail theft. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s “broken windows” approach to crime turned New York City around, and those little things can make a difference. Right now, crime is overwhelming the city of Milwaukee. High crime leads to lower investment and the exodus of working families from the area. That leads to more crime and allows the downward spiral to continue.


Personhood Amendment

This week several of my colleagues and I introduced a constitutional amendment to clarify that life is a special gift to all of God’s children, including the unborn. Nothing is more important than protecting the lives of the most vulnerable among us - our precious children. A constitutional amendment does not need the Governor’s approval.


Representative Janel Brandtjen
State Capitol, Room 12 West
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367 | |