Prisoners describe unsanitary conditions and a dearth of medical care. Experts say staffing shortages are contributing to lockdowns across the country.
About a dozen Wisconsin prisoners plan to launch a hunger strike beginning next week aimed at ending a form of indefinite solitary confinement that officials use to keep order in the institutions, according to an inmate advocacy group.
The water at Fox Lake and Waupun Correctional Institutions is tainted with lead and copper. Officials say they are complying with federal standards, but some inmates and staff question whether it is safe.
Waupun Correctional inmates were not notified for months that Wisconsin had dramatically cut maximum stints in solitary confinement, leading some to agree to longer-than-maximum sentences.
Wisconsin has made a “culture shift” in its use of solitary confinement in prisons, eliminating it as punishment for minor rule infractions and cutting the time inmates spend in isolation for more serious offenses, Department of Corrections officials revealed in an interview granted as part of a legal settlement with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
Six Democratic Wisconsin lawmakers have written the state Department of Corrections demanding action regarding allegations of abuse of inmates by guards at Waupun Correctional Institution.
A statewide advocacy group on Tuesday asked Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to investigate allegations that guards at Waupun Correctional Institution have abused inmates in the prison’s segregation unit dozens of times since 2011.
Part 3: Ed Wall, secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections, asked whether segregation is being used for punitive reasons, when “what we really need from segregation is for inmates to have a corrective and rehabilitative experience.”
Part 2: Of the 40 inmate allegations against prison guards, Joseph Beahm is named in 28. A dozen inmate lawsuits since 2011 accuse Beahm of physical or psychological abuse.
The day before a reporter came to visit, Peg Swan received six letters from Wisconsin prison inmates. Some days she gets more than that. “Three is few,” she said.
Part 1: The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has identified 40 allegations of physical or psychological abuse by correctional officers against inmates in Waupun’s segregation unit since 2011. The allegations, involving 33 inmates, allege extreme mistreatment, including being beaten and stomped on while handcuffed behind their backs.
Allegations of incidents involving 33 inmates, compiled from records and interviews.