Taylor Works with Bipartisan Group to Lead Meaningful Change
(MADISON) – Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) joined Representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) in welcoming Republican political activist, Grover Norquist to the State Capitol on Tuesday.  Invited to speak at a legislative briefing on correction reform, Norquist has traveled the country to discuss justice reinvestment strategies.  Republicans and Democrats have differing ideas about why reforms are needed.  However, many agree that something must be done about the over-burdened courts and correctional facilities.   Taylor and Hutton aim to introduce legislation this session that uses data driven strategies proven to reduce recidivism rates and corrections costs. Taylor released the following statement:

“Wisconsin’s correctional landscape needs work.  African-American men shoulder a disproportionate amount of arrests, charging, and sentencing outcomes.  Our prisons are being used to warehouse individuals with mental health conditions.  Nearly half of those incarcerated in Wisconsin will complete a prison sentence before they have completed their high school education or obtained a GED. We have much to do.” 

“For more than 10 years, I have pushed for a thorough review of Wisconsin’s correction policies and legislative justice decisions.  Dating back to 2007, as the Chair of the Senate Judiciary and Corrections Committee, I hosted a State of the Justice System Tour.  The information learned from those early visits around the state to Wisconsin prisons, meetings with corrections staff, law enforcement, judicial stakeholders and community listening sessions laid the foundation for our reform work today.”

“We have taken meaningful steps to identify best practices to improve Wisconsin’s justice system.  The work that was done with the Justice Reinvestment Initiative in 2009 and subsequent efforts with national organizations have provided us a framework for data driven strategies that have proven successful.  Representative Hutton and I came together with the vision of identifying and implementing solutions that target the root causes of incarceration like mental illness, addiction, and joblessness.  Norquist’s visit was a first step in a series of many opportunities to enlist bi-partisan interest and support for corrections reform.”

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