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Senate Committee Takes First Votes On Youth Prison Bill

Bipartisan Bill Makes Guards At Prison Mandatory Child Abuse Reporters

Wisconsin juvenile prisoners
Morry Gash/AP Photo

Wisconsin lawmakers have taken their first votes on a bill to address conditions at the state’s troubled youth prison since problems at the facility came to light more than a year ago.

The bipartisan bill would make guards at the prison outside Irma mandatory child abuse reporters. The Senate judiciary committee approved the bill 5-0 Thursday, sending it on to the full Senate.

The FBI is currently investigating allegations of widespread inmate abuse at the prison. Current and former inmates have filed two federal lawsuits demanding improvements.

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Word of problems at the facility broke in December 2015 after state agents raided the prison. Minority Democrats introduced a dozen bills as the legislative session ended last spring but Republicans didn’t allow the measures to go anywhere.