Lincoln Hills worker disappointed with Gov. Walker
MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on Wisconsin juvenile prison (all times local):
A teacher at Wisconsin’s juvenile prison who was knocked unconscious by an inmate says she is disappointed Gov. Scott Walker is refusing to meet with her.
Pandora Lobacz said Thursday as both a constituent of Walker’s and a state employee she was hoping the governor would talk with her about conditions at the Lincoln Hills prison. Lobacz was punched and knocked unconscious by an inmate on Oct. 11.
Walker’s spokesman Tom Evenson says the governor’s attorney advised him not to meet with Lobacz because she may file a lawsuit related to the incident.
Lobacz says she is focused on healing and determining whether she can return to the job she’s had for nearly 25 years teaching inside the state’s juvenile prisons.
The head of juvenile corrections for Wisconsin will serve as interim superintendent of the state’s troubled juvenile prisons north of Wausau.
John Paquin has been assigned the job by Wisconsin Corrections Department Secretary Jon Litscher. Paquin notified staff of his new, temporary post in a memo released publicly Thursday.
Paquin will serve as interim superintendent while the search for a permanent person continues. The application deadline is Nov. 12.
The post has been open since September when Wendy Peterson stepped down for a lower-ranking job at the prison.
Paquin says in the memo that he encourages all Corrections staff to reach out to management at the prison with concerns and suggestions they have for improvements.
The prison has been under federal investigation for nearly three years.
Gov. Scott Walker will not meet with the juvenile prison teacher who was knocked out by an inmate.
Walker’s spokesman Tom Evenson said Thursday that because the teacher may file a lawsuit over the incident, Walker has been advised by his attorney not to speak with her.
Pandor Lobacz contacted Walker’s office this week and asked to speak with him about conditions at the Lincoln Hills prison north of Wausau. Lobacz was punched in the face and knocked out by an inmate on Oct. 11 and has not returned to work since.
Evenson says when Lobacz called Walker’s office she was joined on the call by an attorney. The attorney is also her brother. Evenson says they indicated that she has other legal representation as well.
The teacher who was knocked out by a single punch from an inmate at Wisconsin’s juvenile prison wants to talk with Gov. Scott Walker about conditions there.
Pandora Lobacz says she contacted the governor’s office on Wednesday to discuss the situation at Lincoln Hills. Walker has yet to visit the prison which has been under federal investigation for nearly three years and the subject of multiple lawsuits.
Lobacz was knocked out by an inmate on Oct. 11.
Walker has said he’s doing everything possible to ensure safety at the prison that houses about 160 juveniles. Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher met with staff there last week.
Earlier this week Democratic state Sen. Chris Taylor, of Madison, introduced a bill to close the prison within a year.
Juvenile inmates reached the roof of a Wisconsin prison, throwing items at guards before they were subdued.
The incident in August is yet another in a stream of recent clashes between guards and inmates that workers at the Lincoln Hills prison say have increased since a federal court order in July requiring a reduction in the use of pepper spray and solitary confinement.
Wisconsin Department of Corrections spokesman Tristan Cook says two inmates accessed the roof of a housing unit and were throwing items off of it.
Lincoln Hills teacher Pandora Lobacz says they were throwing shingles and pieces of metal. Lobacz says one staff member was injured and remains on medical leave.
Cook says staff handled the situation as safely as possible.