Wisconsin has made a “culture shift” in its use of solitary confinement in prisons, eliminating it as punishment for minor rule infractions and cutting the time inmates spend in isolation for more serious offenses, Department of Corrections officials revealed in an interview granted as part of a legal settlement with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
A statewide advocacy group on Tuesday asked Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to investigate allegations that guards at Waupun Correctional Institution have abused inmates in the prison’s segregation unit dozens of times since 2011.
The group contends that alternatives like day reporting centers, electronic monitoring and treatment courts for people with substance abuse and mental health problems have been proven to be not only cheaper but more effective. It’s asking the Legislature to add $75 million for such programs to the state’s upcoming two-year budget.