(MADISON) Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement regarding the release of justice system budget initiatives by the Governor earlier today.
“Gov. Walker’s justice funding plans ignores the largest driver of spending in our system, the corrections department. The plan lacks any details on reducing recidivism which feeds 60% of our intake in prisons. Worse, there is no increase for funding programs that are proven to reduce prison costs, for example the Treatment and Alternatives Diversion (TAD) program. Wisconsin cannot claim progress with justice funding until we lower prison spending and reinvest dollars to prevent crime and lower recidivism.”
“The justice system works in a balance. Many past reforms have helped to improve justice in our state. Unfortunately, the Governor ignores the imbalance that exists in our system. For example, the Governor chooses to ignore the request for more prosecutors and public defenders. The Governor chooses to not fix the deficit in the public defender private bar appropriation.”
“Rather than addressing problems within our system, the Governor proposes a large DNA surcharge. These surcharges are not solid revenues and should not be the sole source for funding our system. Ultimately, the Governor’s new investments place more stress on our justice system and will cause greater imbalances.”
“The entire justice budget – from law enforcement to community corrections – must be addressed in whole and with careful detail. The Governor’s plans are nothing more than a continuation of Republican bumper sticker politics of “tough on crime”. The bulk of the Governor’s proposals are not data driven or evidence based ways to improve our system. For all the reform talk from the Governor, his Justice plans fall far short on details, let alone on savings for taxpayers.”