March 15, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                              

Statement from Senator Chris Larson on New DOC Secretary Appointment


MADISON –Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding his opposition to the appointment of Jon Litscher as the new Department of Corrections (DOC) secretary.

“After serious and disturbing information regarding abuse at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls was revealed, former DOC Secretary Ed Wall resigned amid a federal investigation. These abuses have led to calls for action largely ignored by Walker and Republican leadership, including the request from many of my Democratic colleague and me for an audit of DOC policies.

“Today, on the last scheduled day of session in the Senate, Jon Litscher was appointed to be the new DOC secretary. Unfortunately, this does nothing to address the immediate safety and civil rights concerns that families who have children in these centers have.

“It is abundantly clear that we need to bring our kids closer to home and place them in a safe environment immediately. Nothing on today’s calendar seeks to address potential mistreatment and abuse of individuals at Lincoln Hills or Copper Lake.

“This is a tired play; you can’t just hang out an ‘under new management sign’ and pretend that things have changed. This appointment is about more empty promises, recycled rhetoric, and the illusion of change. My vote of ‘no’ on this appointment is a call for immediate action to address the culture of corruption and mismanagement that continues to place our youth and DOC staff in danger.”