Friday, February 21st

CLOSE Buy Photo

Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls in Irma are going to be closed and replaced with regional facilities for youth offenders.(Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

MADISON - Republicans on the Legislature's budget committee abandoned plans Wednesday to close Wisconsin's problem-plagued juvenile prisons by July 2021 despite passing a law to do so just months ago. 

On a party-line vote, the Joint Finance Committee declined to fund two new state-run facilities to replace Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls.  

In separate action, the committee funneled tens of millions of dollars toward proposed county-run juvenile detention centers. That plan provided no place to house girls from Milwaukee County.

"With the actions that the Joint Finance Committee took today, it's very unlikely we could close by the deadline of Act 8," said Corrections Secretary Kevin Carr, referring to a law passed last year to close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake by July 2021.