MILWAUKEE, WI – In response to Governor Scott Walker’s comments on closing the disastrous Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prison during the State of the State address, Youth Justice Milwaukee co-founders Jeffery Roman and Sharlen Moore released the following statement:
“While we are encouraged by Governor Scott Walker’s commitment to closing Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake, affected communities must have a seat at the table as the state begins to plan alternatives. The last thing Wisconsin needs are five smaller versions of Lincoln Hills, and unless Governor Walker includes families, young people and advocates in the decision-making process, we’ll end up back where we started. We need to envision a new youth justice system that reinvests in communities and connects young people with the range of services best suited to their needs, including mentors who can listen and understand their backgrounds and struggles. Working together, Wisconsin can create a new model that strengthens families and creates safer communities.”
Youth Justice Milwaukee is a broad-based campaign advocating for community-based, family-centered, restorative programs as an alternative to locking up children in Wisconsin’s youth prisons. Youth Justice Milwaukee represents a coalition of persons who were incarcerated as youth, families of youth who are or were incarcerated, service providers, and local and national youth justice advocates.