Wisconsin Department of Corrections misses body camera goal

Body camera

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Corrections acknowledges it has missed a goal for providing body cameras to officers.

The Legislature gave the department $326,700 to buy 200 body-worn cameras for officers in solitary confinement units at six maximum security adult prisons.

But Corrections Secretary Cathy Jess acknowledged in a letter to legislative leaders Monday her department has not deployed any of those cameras. She says her department first had to determine what features it wanted. She says the procurement process then proved lengthy. And she says a shortage led to further delays.

Therefore, she says, the department couldn’t deliver a report by the July 1 deadline on whether the cameras were reducing assaults.

Democratic Sen. Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse says the administration “bungles” even basic tasks like buying safety equipment.