Act 185

​2017 Act 185 Overview


2017 Wisconsin Act 185 ("Act 185") restructures Wisconsin's juvenile correctional system, which is a part of the broader youth justice system. The act establishes new Department-operated Type 1 facilities for youth adjudicated under the Serious Juvenile Offender (SJO) program or convicted as adults. It also establishes county and/or tribal Secure Residential Care Centers for Children and Youth (SRCCs) for non-SJO juvenile correctional placements. 


The Act will expand the Department of Health Services' (DHS) Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC) by at least 29 beds. Wisconsin's existing juvenile correctional facility, Copper Lake School/Lincoln Hills School (CLS/LHS), will be converted to an adult correctional institution. The legislation requires these changes take place no later than January 1, 2021.


Please click below for an illustration of the Wisconsin youth justice system and how Act 185 reshapes the juvenile correctional system:




Act 185 information:

Act 185 text
Act 185 Legislative Council Act Memo
Department of Corrections Summary of Act 185