February 7, 2017
Senator Taylor repeats call for special session on Lincoln Hills
(MADISON) – Yesterday, State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) renewed her call for Governor Scott Walker to hold a special legislative session to address the mismanagement and abuse at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake School of juvenile correction.
This is the Senator’s second request for a special session on Lincoln Hills. The Governor was non-responsive to the Senator’s previous request last April. Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake have been under federal investigation for child abuse and neglect for two years and are currently the subject of two lawsuits.
“The crisis at Lincoln Hills has reached devastating levels,” wrote Senator Taylor in her letter to Walker. “The urgency of this situation cannot be understated…I’m requesting a special session because the kids in our juvenile corrections system need help now, not later.”
In her letter to the Governor, Senator Taylor mentioned the special session Walker called last month on the opioid crisis, “The emergency at Lincoln Hills is as deserving of your attention as the opioid crisis…I know the issue of juvenile corrections hasn’t impacted you personally, but it’s a crisis that my constituents in Milwaukee have been dealing with for years.”
Taylor called for an expansion of DOC’s Grow Academy, which uses agriculture and sustainability as a tool to reform youth and place them on a path to successful reentry. “It’s a model that works and something that we should replicate in Milwaukee County,” Taylor said.
Taylor also asked that clarity be provided on the DOC’s use of trauma-informed care, saying, “While the DOC claims to use a trauma-informed approach…we need to confirm that they’re following through on that promise.” Senator Taylor also asked that legislation be introduced to transfer the Division of Juvenile Corrections to the Department of Children and Families and eliminate the use of punitive solitary confinement.
Senator Taylor’s first letter to the Governor can be viewed here, and her second letter here.