Democratic lawmakers introduced a sweeping legislative package Thursday to address deteriorating conditions in Wisconsin prisons as a chronic staffing shortage has led to months-long lockdowns and a federal lawsuit.
The state’s perennially overcrowded prison system has been grappling with a lack of staffing that has only grown worse in recent years. The state’s adult institutions are currently dealing with an overall 32.3% vacancy rate, according to the state Department of Corrections.
“We are here today because conditions are dire in our institutions,” Rep. Ryan Clancy of Milwaukee said at a news conference. “This package is a crime reduction package. When we are less cruel to those we incarcerate, those people are less likely to be incarcerated in the future.”
Hoffman declined to comment on the lawsuit.