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Mayor Barrett, Chief Flynn say they’re not part of the conversation on troubled youth prison

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IRMA/MILWAUKEE -- There are new concerns about the Lincoln Hills School for Boys/Copper Lake School for Girls in Irma, under investigation for alleged abuse. The concerns come from top leaders in Milwaukee. They say they're afraid some young criminals may be released and go back to their criminal ways in Milwaukee, and there are also concerns these young people may be able to escape.

Lincoln Hills School

Lincoln Hills School

Last week, the Milwaukee County Board voted to approve $500,000 in emergency funding for an alternative to Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake. The unanimous vote on February 4th declared a state of emergency at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake facilities.

Chief Judge Maxine White issued a letter to the County Board suggesting possible Milwaukee County sites for juvenile offenders.

Milwaukee County House of Correction

Milwaukee County House of Correction

One would be juvenile beds placed at the Milwaukee County House of Correction. Another would be an expansion of a juvenile program currently housed at the former child adolescent treatment center on the Milwaukee County grounds -- not far from the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex.  The mental health facility, considered outdated, is not itself under consideration to house the kids.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn have voiced their concerns about the plan for young offenders currently housed at Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake. Mayor Barrett and Chief Flynn say they are major stakeholders in this case, and they say no one is asking for their input.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

"The Lincoln Hills fiasco is a man-made disaster and I don't want ramifications of that to affect public safety in Milwaukee and I'm very concerned about that," Mayor Barrett said.

As many as 170 juvenile offenders sent to Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake in Irma for rehabilitation and punishment, mostly from Milwaukee County, will return to Milwaukee County.

Milwaukee County is taking over the placement of these juvenile offenders following concerns about physical and sexual abuse by staff members.

The question that concerns Chief Flynn and Mayor Barrett is -- where will these young people be housed?

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

"I am a little concerned that the county has decided to bring everybody home without consulting anyone who's affected by the crimes these young people commit," Chief Flynn said.

Chief Flynn and Mayor Barrett say they're major players in the battle against crime in Milwaukee, and they say they're not part of this plan.

They say carjackings and other crimes committed by teens are on the increase here in Milwaukee.

There is concern that some of these young offenders will be placed in low-security group homes in Milwaukee neighborhoods.

Lincoln Hills School

"They claim all will be well. All I know is when I'm standing in front of the cameras dealing with carjacking-related violence, they're not going to be with me -- so I would be eager as the mayor indicated before to be part of any conversations that has to do with how we confront this serious problem and do right by juveniles, but also do right by the victims," Chief Flynn said.

Mayor Barrett said he will be meeting with Milwaukee County officials on Wednesday, February 10th about the Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake situation, and he will have more to say after that meeting.


  • 0311 USMC Grunt, Author of Sarcasm

    How about instead of moving 170 juvenile offenders back to Milwaukee, FIRE and jail the staff members and get new ones, sounds like a good plan to me, and it will not cost a dime.

    • molon labe

      Troubled youth are from the hood:
      Latent learning occurs in humans. Children may learn by watching the actions of their parent(s) but only demonstrate it at a later date, when the learned material is needed. For example, suppose that LaQuon’s Dad Aunt, drives to the liquor store every day and mean mugs the clerk while stealing a 24oz. Old E. In this way, LaQuon learns the route from his house to the liquor store and how to act, but he’s never driven there himself or stolen anything, so he has not had a chance to demonstrate that he’s learned the way. One morning Laquon’s Mom has to leave early to go get some blunts, so she can’t drive Laquon anywhere. Instead, LaQuon remembers the route to the liquor store and goes on his stolen bike. This demonstrates latent learning. Laquon had learned the route to the liquor store and how to steal/rob it, but had no need to demonstrate this knowledge earlier because of his Aunt, Mom, or who ever are raisingthese animals. So, until the actions of this “adult” are stopped nothing will change:

    • Fred

      That’s just plain common sense…….why would you expect that from our current administration? If your boat has a leak, just move it to a different lake and see what happens there.

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  • Opinion8d

    What a mistake this will be. They are better off sending the $500K to the prison so they can hire more help. And please don’t refer to these criminals as kids or juveniles -they are monsters. Moving them closer is just a political play and as usually, the black community (as a whole) won’t care -they will just be happy their chilrenz are back.

    • Mike jones

      Also lets not forget the pregnant lady who was killed infront of her son when they closed Wales last time. They released criminals early and the lady was killed and the kid was supposed to be still locked up but was released early.

  • buzz

    maybe milwaukee wants to bring them back to keep the cycle going,murder , robberies, etc. they have to bring in new blood because the old blood is either in jail or dead! and maybe there is some discrepancies at the jail , you are in jail , why should you be made at home? were the people that you robbed or murdered satisfied? NO do the crime you do the time!!

  • A yooper

    I think the thuglets should be fitted with GPS shock collars.If they leave the hood, bingo zapped in the neck like a dog. Set it up to allow them to to go to work. It could work.

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