Walker: More Corrections Staffing Needed, Finding Money The Issue

Jan 12, 2016

Credit Wis. Dept. of Corrections

Democrats in the legislature recently asked for more funding to the state Division of Corrections to help correct staffing problems at several state facilities, including the embattled Lincoln Hills juvenile facility in Lincoln county.

Lincoln Hills is under investigation by federal and state authorities after a series of incidents culminated with a juvenile having a severe foot injury. There have also been allegations of sexual assault . The management at the facility near Irma has changed, and other security steps have been recently enacted.

During a stop in Rhinelander Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker was asked if getting more funding for additional staff would happen. Walker says the staffing levels within Corrections have been a headache for every Governor since Tommy Thompson. Walker said getting more money for Corrections comes at a price...

"....we're going to need to look at that in the future to figure out a balance to make sure we have adequate staffing. It's going to be part of the mix making sure that any money spent in those areas is money that can't be spent on public education, higher education, we have to balance all those priorities....."

Democrats accused Walker of having a lack of urgency to correct the problems at not only Lincoln Hills, but staffing shortages at other facilities. Democratic Senator Jennifer Shilling told WXPR there also have been assaults on guards at adult facilities at Green Bay, Racine and Columbia.