Mandatory reporting bill small step in a long journey
(MADISON) – Today, the Senate passed 2017 Senate Bill 35 which would make juvenile correctional officers mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) offered the following statement:
“Let’s be clear, this bill doesn’t do anything to stop the abuse at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake School. This bill says that abuse needs to be reported after it has happened. We have done nothing to stop the abuse! That should be our first step!
“We are finally having a bipartisan conversation on the Senate floor about Lincoln Hills, but we haven’t even begun to address any of the problems that caused the FBI to raid our juvenile facility a year and a half ago, or any of the abuse mentioned in Judge Richard Kreul’s letter to Governor Walker in 2012.
“We must stop the abuse before it begins. We need to stop the over-incarceration of our juveniles, and we must stop placing our children in solitary confinement and adding trauma upon trauma. Instead of sending our children halfway across the state to facilities far from their family and loved ones, we need to replicate the Grow Academy model in Milwaukee County, and step down all youth from Lincoln Hills as soon as possible. When it comes to protecting these children, it’s time we stopped saying ‘no we can’t,’ and started saying, ‘yes we can!’”