WHAT’S NEW AT DOC?

December 2020 

COVID-19 has now infected inmates in 26 Wisconsin prisons.

Virus-exposed guards allowed to work in Wisconsin prisons.  FOX6 News Milwaukee investigation finds the state is sometimes waiving a common workplace safety restriction because of chronic staffing shortages that could put inmates, employees and the public in jeopardy.
 

RACINE, Wis. - They have no game plan. That's what a Racine Correctional Officer tells the FOX6 Investigators about the Wisconsin Department of Corrections response to COVID-19.

Our investigation finds the state is sometimes waiving a common workplace safety restriction because of chronic staffing shortages that could put inmates, employees and the public in jeopardy.   More>>
 

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New policy will enable Medicaid-eligible individuals leaving jail or prison to have health care coverage immediately upon release

 Beginning October 24, 2020, Medicaid members that are incarcerated will have their health care benefits suspended and then re-evaluated before they are released from jail or prison. Previously, Medicaid members who became incarcerated had their coverage terminated, which then often delayed their access to medical and behavioral health care following their release. The Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Department of Corrections (DOC) have been working with income maintenance agencies and community partners to make this policy change.

Possible Expansion of the Earned Release Program

Possible changes include consolidating the Earned Release (ERP)/Substance Use Disorders (SUD) program so everyone is qualified to participate.  Medium custody individuals will be allowed to enroll and enrollment will be expanded to span 48 months of an inmate’s release date.  Additionally, multiple opportunities to complete the ERP will now be allowed.

Possible Revocation Reductions and Compassionate Responses to Violations

Possible changes include reducing the number of standard rules from eighteen to nine violations and creating a process for monitoring center call takers to make determinations regarding the direct risk, if any, of those violators referred for review.  In addition, there may be evidence-based responses to violations, more short-term sanctions, alternatives to revocation that include programming and specialty courts, more community-based alternatives to revocation, and modifications to the revocation process to include changes to the penalty schedule severity levels.

 Possible Restrictive Housing Reform

Areas being considered include additional staff training to encompass de-escalation techniques, establishment of a severity range for each behavior/offense, and actively involving the utilization of mental health professionals.  Additionally, expansion in the use of telemedicine and telehealth technologies is being contemplated, limiting the time spent in restrictive housing, especially for the mentally ill, and providing rehabilitative programming while in restrictive housing are being considered. 

Kevin A. Carr, Secretary

 

Kevin A. Carr is the Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Kevin previously worked as the U.S. Marshal in the Eastern District of Wisconsin and was appointed to that position by President Barack Obama. Previously, he spent 30 years working in the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office where he held numerous positions including Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Inspector, and Inspector. As Inspector, Carr served as the second in charge of daily operations for the agency. He was instrumental in the creation of the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Council.

Secretary Carr holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Management and an associate's degree in criminal justice from Concordia University. He has received post-graduate certificates from Harvard University, the FBI National Academy, and Northwestern University.

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