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Juvenile Corrections Study Committee makes recommendations to state legislatureSubmitted: 11/19/2018
Story By Dakota Sherek

Juvenile Corrections Study Committee makes recommendations to state legislature
EAGLE RIVER - A special state committee made its recommendations about Wisconsin's juvenile corrections system after spending months studying the issue. One of its 25 members was Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath.

Governor Scott Walker got the Juvenile Corrections Study Committee started back in July. He wanted to get some feedback on what types of facilities should be built to replace Lincoln Hills, which is set to close in 2021, and what types of programming they should have.

Sheriff Fath says 60 percent of kids held in Lincoln Hills come from the Milwaukee area. To provide more family support to those kids, the committee suggested placing one facility there.

The committee then chose the Brown County, Fox Valley area for a second location. Fath says they were looking for a place with access to professionals that could provide appropriate programming for the kids.

"It would be great to have a facility like this closer to Northern Wisconsin, but we just don't have the numbers to support building it up here," said Fath.

The hope of the programming is that the kids will get more opportunity to change their behavior.

"Yes it's a prison or corrections center, but it's dealing with kids that we hope we have the opportunity to turn around and correct some of their behavior so it's pretty unique to the world of corrections," said Fath.

Fath says the suggested facilities would both be smaller than the current Lincoln Hills buildings.

He believes the two facilities will be a big step for Wisconsin to move forward and make improvements in juvenile corrections.

Fath says the recommendations are going to the legislature, if they are approved another committee will be formed to review grant applications from each county to build the two new facilities.

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