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Overflow barracks, but no new prison, in Evers budget

March 1, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers doesn’t plan to build any new prisons to accommodate Wisconsin’s burgeoning inmate population.

Evers released his budget Thursday. The spending plan doesn’t call for building a new facility, or replacing the aging prison in Green Bay.

Instead, it calls for adding one barracks at Taycheedah Correctional Institution and two at Jackson Correctional Institution. Each barrack would hold up to 144 inmates.

The state’s overall prison population is about 32 percent over capacity.

The budget also establishes a new pay progression for prison guards and bumps their starting wages from about $16 an hour to $18. Corrections officials have had trouble fully staffing prisons, resulting in high overtime.

Evers’ proposal must be approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature.