MADISON — The state Justice Department is investigating allegations that excessive force was used against inmates at the state's youth prison.
Corrections Secretary Ed Wall wrote to his administrators on Thursday informing them the probe at Lincoln Hills School north of Wausau has been ongoing since January.
He noted in the letter there was an incident as recently as the last weekend of November and DOC has appointed a new administrator for juvenile corrections and a new superintendent at Lincoln Hills.
Troy Bauch, a union representative for Lincoln Hills staff, told The Associated Press in an interview that DOJ agents visited the prison this past Saturday and Sunday and interviewed all staff and offenders.
DOJ spokeswoman Anne Schwartz declined comment.
Governor Scott Walker said Monday DOC officials found a few staff members they were concerned about, and immediately put them on leave, before asking Lincoln County Sheriff's officials and DOJ officials to investigate.
"We take this very seriously. It’s why we’ve been actively involved and brought this to the attention of the Department of Justice. It's something I’ve met with the attorney general on. We’re hoping they get to the bottom of one part of it. In the meantime, we’ve instructed the secretary of corrections to take as aggressive action as possible to make sure the staff there is looking out for not only the safety of the people under their supervision, but of other staff and visitors to the site," Walker said.