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Governor appoints Jared Hoy as the new leader of Wisconsin’s prison system

Hoy has been with the state Department of Corrections since 2007

A large fence and observation tower can be seen across a parking lot
As of Tuesday, Oshkosh Correctional Institution had the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 of any facility in the state prison system. Angela Major/WPR

Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday that he is promoting a deputy secretary at the embattled Wisconsin Department of Corrections to be the new leader of the state’s prison system that has been plagued by overcrowding and understaffing.

Jared Hoy will take over from Kevin Carr, who retired in March after leading the department since Evers appointed him at the beginning of his first term in 2019.

Evers said Hoy has 20 years of corrections experience in roles in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including working as an outpatient therapist, corrections counselor, research analyst, field supervisor, program and policy chief, policy initiatives advisor and training director.

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Hoy joined the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in 2007 and has served as deputy director since 2021.

He will inherit a host of problems.

As of Friday, the adult prison system housed 22,544 inmates, more than 4,900 over capacity. Problems have been exacerbated by a lack of guards. As of Friday, the guard vacancy rate across the prison system stood at 19 percent.

The shortage of guards grew so severe last year that prisons in Green Bay, Waupun and Stanley instituted lockdowns.

Three inmates died at Waupun in 2023. A group of Waupun inmates filed a federal class-action lawsuit in October saying lockdown conditions there amount to cruel and unusual punishment. And in February, the daughter of an inmate who died there filed a federal lawsuit alleging Waupun officials failed to provide her father with adequate mental health care and medications.

Republican lawmakers and community leaders have advocated for years to close the 126-year-old Green Bay prison, but Evers has said he won’t do that unless it is part of a broader plan that addresses problems across the entire prison and criminal justice system.

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