UPDATED: Lawmakers seek delay in youth prison plan

BUT CITY OF NEW LONDON FAVORS PROPOSED PRISON SITE

Updated at 3 p.m. on April 16, 2019

The Brillion News

MADISON – Seven state legislators, including State Senator Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, and State Rep. Ron Tusler, R-Harrison, are calling on the Joint Finance Committee to delay any action on a plan to build a new youth prison just outside of New London on land the state owns in the Town of Hortonia.

The letter asks that the committee delay action on the youth prison plan until the state Department of Corrections holds one or more informational sessions in the Town of Hortonia, and the department gets backing for the facility to be built there from the town and from Outagamie County.

But at its April 9 meeting, the New London Common Council unanimously supported the plan for the prison at the location the state proposed.

“We appreciate that there is a  critical need for such a Type 1 facility and we stand ready to assist you meet that need by building the facility here,” New London Mayor Gary Henke wrote to the governor and DOC Secretary-designee Kevin Carr on April 10.

On March 12, Governor Tony Evers called for two new youth prisons, to replace the Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake youth prisons north of Merrill. One would go up in Milwaukee, the other at the Town of Hortonia site near the intersection of U.S. 45 and State 15, southeast of New London near the Outagamie-Waupaca county line.

The seven lawmakers, in a letter to Joint Finance. said the governor made the decision and sprung it on the town and county without consultation.

“The announcement of the facility caught many in the area by surprise with very little to no prior knowledge,” the lawmakers wrote. “To date, several concerns have not been addressed by the Department of Corrections to the Town of Hortonia.”

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