Posted inJustice & Safety, Justice Deferred

‘Skipping the middleman’: Defendants faced shifting demands in Outagamie County judge’s one-man drug court

The judge says it met a need, but the self-styled program lacked structure and meant longer punishments for some.

Posted inJustice & Safety, Justice Deferred

Judge’s rigorous collection of court-ordered debt atypical in Wisconsin — even in his own county

Outagamie County Circuit Judge Vincent Biskupic has held dozens of review hearings stretching over years to push defendants to pay overdue court costs

Posted inJustice & Safety, Justice Deferred

Man decries lengthy ‘de facto probation’ in Outagamie County

Beau Jammes filed a complaint against Judge Vincent Biskupic, arguing that being subject to the judge’s scrutiny for months was ‘illegal’ — and unhelpful.

Posted inJustice & Safety, Justice Deferred

‘Why do you keep harassing me?’: An Outagamie County judge controls defendants after sentencing

A Wisconsin Watch and WPR analysis shows Judge Vincent Biskupic is the top user of this ‘de facto’ probation, which raises questions of judicial authority — and fairness.

Posted inGovernment, Justice & Safety

Sidebar: California case prompts policy reforms

Revelations from jailhouse informant Leslie Vernon White prompted a mass review of cases spanning an entire decade in which jailhouse testimony had been used to secure a criminal conviction. And it led Los Angeles County to adopt what one expert calls some “of the best jailhouse snitch protections in the country.”

Posted inLosing Track, WisWatch Blog

Story impact: Lawmakers hold up funding for GPS tracking, call for study

A Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism report on problems regarding the use of GPS devices to monitor convicted offenders was a factor in the decision of state lawmakers to delay approval of some funding sought by the state Department of Corrections for program expansion, and seek a study on the program’s effectiveness.

“People are concerned with the accuracy of the GPS monitoring devices,” said state Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, citing the Center’s report.

Posted inJustice & Safety, Losing Track

Lost signals, disconnected lives

Thirteen offenders told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that Wisconsin’s GPS tracking system repeatedly fails, registering false alerts and landing the offenders in jail although they had done nothing wrong. Meanwhile, Gov. Scott Walker is proposing an expansion of nearly 50 percent in the number of offenders monitored by GPS devices.