Critics pan Walker’s budget on youth prison

Critics pan Walker’s budget on youth prison

Critics say Gov. Scott Walker’s budget doesn’t do enough to improve conditions at Wisconsin’s troubled youth prison.

Walker’s budget lays out about $2 million to hire eight more guards, three more mental health specialists and convert nine contract nursing positions to state employment.

The governor rejected the Department of Corrections’ request for $3.7 million for serious juvenile offender supervision. Walker also said in December he’d be open to moving inmates back to Milwaukee but made no moves in the budget toward that end.

The FBI is investigating allegations of abuse at the prison, and federal lawsuits have been filed.

Jessica Feierman, an attorney who brought one of the lawsuits, says Walker’s budget leaves the prison understaffed and underfunded. Walker’s administration says DOC has already made reforms at the facility.