Wisconsin prison chief says troubled youth prisons are safe - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin prison chief says troubled youth prisons are safe

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

The head of Wisconsin's prison system says a troubled prison for juveniles is safe, a week after a staff member was punched by an inmate sending her to the hospital.

Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher said Thursday that the Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake prisons "is a safe place for staff and offenders." He spoke to reporters after testifying before a state Senate committee about overcrowding in the state prison system.

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His comments come amid an ongoing federal investigation into allegations of abuse by guards against young inmates at the juvenile prisons. The prisons are under a federal court order to dramatically reduce the use of pepper spray, isolation and shackles to control inmates.

Last week Gov. Scott Walker's administration told the court progress is being made but there remains "significant unrest."

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