June 11, 2019

Contact: Rep. Steffen: (608) 266-5840 / Sen. Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Budget Motion to Replace Green Bay Correctional Institution Passes

MADISON– Today, the Joint Committee on Finance passed a budget motion introduced by Representative David Steffen (R-Howard) and Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) which funds first phase of replacing the 121-year old maximum security facility in Allouez. Constructed in 1898, Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI) was built with a capacity to house 749 inmates, however it currently houses approximately 1,090 inmates. The $5 million approved today, is required to be spend on land acquisition, utility services to the new prison site and requests for proposals (RFPs) for the prison’s construction. Rep. Steffen and Sen. Cowles will be addressing the facility construction costs, once determined, as part of the 2021-2023 state budget.

This is a big win for the state of Wisconsin. With the current state of Green Bay Correctional Institution and multiple independent studies showing it to be at the top of nearly every operational and structural deficiency metric at the Department of Corrections, the most cost-effective option is for a full replacement.

“I have consistently stated that Green Bay Correctional Institution is the most dangerous place in Wisconsin,” stated Rep. Steffen. “GBCI is in need of $200 million in repairs, suffers from a 45% overcapacity rate and is ranked #1 for assaults on staff. We now have a clear path and timeline for a safer, more cost-effective solution to this problem.”

It is our hope that Governor Evers will show his support of this budget item in the upcoming weeks. Investing in a new facility is not only the right thing to do for the staff and inmates currently at GBCI, but it additionally would allow for significant savings of taxpayer dollars attributed to reduced capital and operational costs.

“GBCI has served the state of Wisconsin exceptionally well for over 100 years, but it is time to move on. The Institution is in clear disrepair, and the need to replace the facility is obvious. The commitment that JFC approved today in the state budget for the placement and design planning starts us down the path to replacing the antiquated GBCI with a new, state-of-the-art facility that will be safer for correctional officers, better for the rehabilitation of inmates, and more suited for the community,” added Senator Cowles.