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Wisconsin sheriffs support juvenile justice overhaul plan

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin sheriffs have joined counties and others in support of a juvenile justice overhaul plan that would close the Lincoln Hills youth prison by 2021.

The Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputies Association and the Badger State Sheriffs' Association both registered in support of the bill Tuesday. Republican Senate Majority Scott Fitzgerald has repeatedly cited concerns of sheriffs when saying it would be a "heavy lift" to pass the proposal.

The state Assembly unanimously passed the overhaul last week, sending it to the Senate. The bill must pass the Senate in identical form in order to go to Gov. Scott Walker.

In addition to closing Lincoln Hills, the bill would send the most serious juvenile offenders to state-run prisons while counties would have less-serious offenders.

A Senate committee held a hearing Tuesday on the bill.

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