State Assembly unanimously passes prison guard abuse bill

Lincoln Hills School for Boys

MADISON — The state Assembly has unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that would require guards at Wisconsin’s troubled youth prison to report child abuse.

The bill passed Wednesday, May 10th would make guards at the prison in Irma mandatory child abuse reporters. That would protect them from retaliation for reporting incidents. Workers in nearly 30 other professions are already considered mandatory reporters under Wisconsin law. Rep. Joel Kleefisch, who co-sponsored the measure with Democratic Sen. LaTonya Johnson, says adding prison guards to that list is long overdue.

The FBI is currently investigating allegations of widespread abuse at the prison. No one has been charged yet but the allegations have driven several state prison officials to resign or retire.

The Senate approved the bill in March. The measure will now go to Gov. Scott Walker.