Walker's budget affects local juvenile institution - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Walker's budget affects local juvenile institution

By Bonnie Shelton

IRMA (WAOW)--The Governor's Budget plan will also affect a Northwoods juvenile detention center. If the budget passes as is, the population at Lincoln Hills School will grow.

In Governor Walker's proposed budget he wants two juvenile detention centers shut down and students from those two facilities moved to Lincoln Hills School in Irma.

The consolidation plan calls for the closing of Southern Oaks Girls School and Ethan Allen School, both are located in Southeast Wisconsin.

The Department of Corrections says the move will save more than 23 million dollars a year in operating costs. That will erase its Division of Juvenile Corrections budget deficit by 2021.

Lincoln Hills's Superintendent says the choice to keep that facility open was based on space and performance.

Representatives say the only change needed to accommodate new students is to build a wall to separate boys and girls on site. Lincoln Hills is currently an all-boys facility, but if the proposed consolidation occurs, girls will be housed in a separate facility called Copper Lake School on the grounds.

Within the next few weeks, 292 employees at Ethan Allen and Oaks Girls School will be notified they are "at risk" for layoff. However, 114 workers will be needed after consolidation at Lincoln Hills, so transferring is an option. If current workers fill those spots there will be a total of 177 layoffs.

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

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