Wisconsin Assembly unanimously passes bill to close Lincoln Hills

NOW: Wisconsin Assembly unanimously passes bill to close Lincoln Hills

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – The Wisconsin State Assembly voted Wednesday to close the state’s only youth prison.

The plan is expected to cost $80 million.

The Assembly passed the plan unanimously. It would have all kids out of Lincoln Hills by 2021 and would replace it with smaller facilities throughout the state.

The Department of Corrections would build one new state-run facility for the juveniles who commit the most serious crimes. It will also pay 95% of county costs to build the new facilities which would be run at the county level.

Democrats say they like the solution, but it’s long overdue.

Republicans say this is a good bipartisan plan that will better rehabilitate youth.

“Allowing everybody to come to the table to have their voice heard, and I think what has come out of that. The Wisconsin model is what we’re calling it, is going to be transformational,” says Rep. Michael Schraal (R) – Oshkosh.

“Unfortunately, Governor Walker failed to act 5 or 6 years ago and now we’re figuring it out today. So on one hand, it’s a good thing, on the other hand, it’s way too late,” said Rep. Daniel Riemer (D) – Milwaukee.

The bill now moves to the Senate where leadership has not shown as much support for the plan.

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