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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

 11:44 AM 

Dems slam inaction on Correction as Senate approves Litscher appointment

Dems slammed the Senate for inaction on what they say is a crisis in the Corrections Department as the chamber approved Jon Litscher to take over the agency as secretary.

Litscher, who previously led the agency under Govs. Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum, was praised by some Dems as a good pick to lead the department, and the chamber signed off on his appointment 29-3.

Still, Dems used the vote to tick off a list of concerns they have with the agency, which has been under fire for its handling of abuse allegations at the youth prison in northern Wisconsin.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said Lincoln Hills is only one item on a list of problems at Corrections that includes forced overtime and a rise in assaults on guards. He said guards face unsafe working conditions in a dangerous job, but the Senate has done nothing to address those problems this session.

“We have a crisis in Corrections right now," Erpenbach said. "Hopefully the secretary will be able to come up with some ideas to address that. But legislatively, we could have done something, anything to make the officers’ jobs safer."


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