Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle will sign a budget allowing for opening of two new prisons and measrues intended to reduce the need for prison space and expand prisoner rehabilitation efforts, says the Wisconsin State Journal. “I don’t expect to open any more new prisons in Wisconsin as long as I’m governor,” he said.
New prisons in Chippewa Falls and New Lisbon, set to open in April 2004, are expected to make room for about half of the 2,290 prisoners held in out-of-state prisons to return to Wisconsin.
Doyle plans to approve opening of a probation and parole holding facility that could help keep up to 400 prisoners a year from entering or re-entering the general prison population. Instead of automatically being sent to prison, offenders who violate terms of their probation or parole could be sentenced to 90 days of “intensive programming.” The governor also will approve opening two workhouses that will allow minimum-security prisoners about to leave the system to gain work experience before being released.