Criminal Justice

Speaker Robin Vos at 11/17/20 news conference

Republicans press cities to spend ARPA funds on police

BY: - May 20, 2022

Republican lawmakers are continuing to hammer gun violence and homicide rates in the southeastern Wisconsin cities of Milwaukee and Racine. Disregarding calls to tighten gun laws and support violence prevention strategies, the GOP has anointed law enforcement as Wisconsin’s only solution. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos doubled down on that stance in  a letter to the […]

Milwaukee officials blast Republican inaction on gun laws

BY: - May 18, 2022

The city of Milwaukee continues to process a series of shootings in the downtown area last weekend. Known as the “Deer District,” in homage to the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, the downtown entertainment district saw a trio of shooting sprees between 9:10 p.m. and 11:54 p.m., leaving more than 20 people injured. All of the […]

Wisconsin ACLU investigating activist’s Dane County courtroom arrest

BY: - May 17, 2022

The Wisconsin ACLU is investigating the arrest of an activist outside of a Dane County courtroom earlier this month with the organization’s president saying it was “undoubtedly an unconstitutional violation.”  Jessica Williams, an employee of the racial justice non-profit Freedom Inc., was arrested on May 6. Williams was attending a sentencing hearing for Kenyairra Gadson, […]

A Green Bay Correctional Institution watch tower and guard. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Where collective bargaining and politics fit into prison staff shortages

BY: - May 13, 2022

Myriad factors are fueling staffing shortages within correctional facilities, as Wisconsin Examiner recently reported. These include working conditions faced by many jail and prison staff and  mass incarceration, which has far outpaced the hiring of new staff. Sean Daley, a business agent and member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) […]

Prison guard

Prisons struggle with high attrition and burnout among staff

BY: - May 12, 2022

For jails and prisons across the country, it can be a challenge to retain enough staff necessary to properly run a facility. And for the staff members who are on payroll, the burden can be immense, leading to a variety of negative mental and physical health outcomes. It’s a nationwide pattern from which the state […]

A Wauwatosa police squad at the scene of the departments December 10th, 2020 shooting. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Wisconsin DOJ releases statewide police use-of-force data dashboard

BY: - May 10, 2022

In 2021, incidents of police violence in Wisconsin occurred most often on public roads or private homes, the victim was most often a male between 18-35 years old and the officer had usually been on the force for less than five years.  Those numbers come from a new data tool from the Wisconsin Department of […]

No suspects in arson of Madison anti-abortion group, police say

BY: - May 10, 2022

Madison police and federal investigators said in a Monday afternoon press conference that they don’t have any suspects in the arson of the Madison offices of Wisconsin Family Action, an anti-abortion advocacy group. Officials said they are still analyzing forensic and video evidence of the event, which occurred early Sunday morning.  On Sunday, two molotov […]

Dr. Melinda Brennan, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wisconsin. (Photo | ACLU of Wisconsin)

New ACLU executive director reflects on the struggles facing Wisconsin

BY: - May 5, 2022

Dr. Melinda Brennan became executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin (ACLU)  in January. Surveying Wisconsin’s landscape of civil rights and social justice battles, she says it’s crucial to maintain “a very intentional focus on how the issues that we’ve been devoted to for a long time are very tightly intertwined.” At […]

Close up photo of police lights on top of a cop car at night

Police union survey shows Wisconsin’s views on policing largely unmoving

BY: - May 4, 2022

A survey of community attitudes toward police and reforms of the state’s criminal justice system released by the state’s largest police union on Wednesday shows that Wisconsinites’ attitudes toward the police have become more entrenched in the two years since George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer in May of 2020.  The survey, released […]

A diagram showing how ShotSpotter works. (Screenshot courtesy of ShotSpotter)

National campaign puts its sights on popular police gunfire detection tool

BY: - April 29, 2022

In cities around the country, through networks of audio sensors scattered in a neighborhood, loud sounds like gunfire can be detected and their source triangulated.  Called ShotSpotter, the system operates in 125 U.S. cities, including Milwaukee. Police departments and the ShotSpotter company say the system offers real-time intelligence on when and where a gunshot occurs. […]

Barbwire on top of a fence outside a prison or jail

Biden issues first pardons and sentencing commutations of his presidency

BY: - April 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday granted clemency to nearly 80 individuals charged with nonviolent crimes and unveiled an administration strategy to help formerly incarcerated people secure employment.  Of that list, three were pardons and 75 were commutations, which is a reduction in an individual’s prison sentence. They were the first pardons and commutations […]

Kaul - Clergy Abuse

State DOJ has received more than 200 reports of clergy abuse after year of investigating

BY: - April 21, 2022

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), after one year of investigation, has received 204 reports of abuse by members of the clergy accusing more than 150 individuals of abuse, according to a news release. Allegations were made publicly for the first time in 51 of the reports.  Last year, Attorney General Josh Kaul, along with […]