Evers looks toward criminal justice reform, changing policy on solitary confinement in 2020

Columbia County Jail

Gov. Tony Evers said he is making criminal justice reform his number one priority this year.

That could mean changes to the state’s use of solitary confinement.

Evers said he met with the Department of Corrections secretary on Wednesday to figure out what policies he could implement to do away with or limit solitary confinement.

During his campaign, Evers said he would support ending the use of solitary confinement. Some other policies he highlighted on the campaign encourage eliminating mandatory minimums, investing in restorative justice strategies, and fixing what he calls a broken parole and supervision system.

Overall he said this type of reform in criminal justice is not just the right thing morally, but it makes dollars sense too.

“Other states have, red states, very, very conservative states, have taken on this issue and have been able to save millions and millions of dollars or reinvested that into rehabilitation and re-entry programs that actually help the state,” he said.

He said he expects development on solitary confinement policy soon, hopefully by next month.