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Democrat introduces bill to close troubled youth prison

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Lincoln Hills School

MADISON — A Democratic legislator is introducing a bill that would close Wisconsin’s troubled youth prison.

Authorities have been investigating allegations of widespread abuse at the Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake prison complex outside Irma for nearly three years. Prison workers reached out to legislators this summer to say they’re afraid the inmates will kill them.

Rep. Chris Taylor introduced a bill Monday that calls for closing the prison within a year. She says the current model doesn’t work. The bill has little chance since Republicans control both legislative houses.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice investigated the prison in 2015 before giving way to the FBI. Attorney General Brad Schimel said Monday he’s not aware of any current ongoing abuse complaints like the ones that prompted the probe.

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