Walker, former employees react to Schimel's Lincoln Hills statem - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Walker, former employees react to Schimel's Lincoln Hills statement

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LINCOLN COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) -

The Lincoln Hills Youth Prison has become a reinvigorated priority for lawmakers in the wake of the assault of a teacher.

In the latest development, Attorney General Brad Schimel said he would be open to closing the facility - but only if a viable alternative was found. 

In an interview Wednesday, Gov. Scott Walker mirrored those statements. 

"It would have to be part of a process, but you can't make the change unless there's a viable alternative," the governor said.

Schimel suggested one possibility could be creating smaller facilities across the state, so youth inmates could be closer to their families.

But Milwaukee hinders that plan, because the biggest percentage of inmates are from that county. 

Over the first six months of 2017, nearly 40 percent of inmates were from Milwaukee county. The county with the next highest percentage was Dane County - at 7.6 percent. 

There's another caveat. The original deed to Lincoln Hills states the property can only be used as "a school for delinquent boys and related facilities."

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