1. Additional Funding for Type 1 Youth Facility - Milwaukee
Funding Request: $32,609,000
Location: West Clinton Avenue, Milwaukee
Due to the original estimate being completed in 2017, DOC requested an updated amount after local government approvals were complete. The new cost estimate accounts for inflation and significant increases in labor costs, consistent with nationwide cost increases. The facility is still on track and DOC projects a completion date of 2026.
2. Second Type 1 Youth Facility – Dane County
Funding Request: $83,000,000
Proposed Location: Dane County, utilizing DOC land that lies within Fitchburg and Oregon, Wisconsin near the Grow Academy, Oregon Correctional Center, and Bureau of Correctional Enterprises Farm Campus.
Act 185 envisioned multiple, smaller Type 1 youth correctional facilities operated by Wisconsin DOC, coupled with county-run SRCCCYs to keep youth closer to home and family/community support systems. It also envisioned using state-owned land where possible for new Type 1 youth facilities and choosing locations in geographic locations reflective of the DOC’s youth population. With Milwaukee and Dane counties having the highest number of youth in custody, a second location in Dane County will allow DOC to keep youth close to home and connect them to resources in their communities prior to their release. DOC has set a project completion goal date of 2029.
3. Exploration of a third Type 1 Facility – Northeastern WI
Funding Request: $4,000,00
Location: To Be Determined, likely in the Northeastern portion of Wisconsin.
Act 185 envisioned 3 Type 1 facilities and a number of smaller, county-based sites. In order to fully embrace a regionalized model and keep youth close to home, DOC would explore the option of building a third smaller facility in the Northeastern portion of the state.
4. Grow Academy Expansion
Funding Request: $24,900,000
Location: Oregon, Wisconsin
The Grow Academy is a residential program offering comprehensive treatment for County and State-supervised youth as an alternative to incarceration, as well as a step down for youth returning to the community. Funding would allow DOC to expand the Grow Academy, from a 6-bed facility to a 16-bed facility.
5. Lincoln Hills School and Copper Lake School (LHS/CLS) HVAC Improvements
Funding Request: $5.7 million
Location: LHS/CLS, Irma, Wisconsin
With the additional smaller, regionalized Type 1 facilities, DOC plans to close LHS/CLS and transition the site to a minimum-custody adult facility. Funding will allow DOC to begin necessary improvements to the site in preparation for that transition.
Step 1. Funding Approved (normal)
Passed in April 2021, 2021 Act 252 provided the necessary funding authorization to fully begin the process of finalizing the site selection, planning, and design of a new Type 1 facility in Milwaukee County.
Step 2. Site Evaluations (normal)
The DOC, in partnership with the DOA, reviewed multiple locations in Milwaukee County as a potential site for a new Type 1 facility utilizing the criteria developed by the bipartisan Juvenile Corrections Study Committee.
Step 3. Proposed Site Selection (normal)
7930 West Clinton Avenue, in the City of Milwaukee, has been selected as the most viable site for a new Type 1 facility.
Step 4. Local Governing Body Support for Site Selection (2021 Act 252)
2021 Act 252 included a mandate that requires support of the governing body of the municipality where the selected site is located.
Step 5. DOA Approval (2021 Act 252)
2021 Act 252 mandated that the DOA may not approve plans for constructing a new Type 1 facility without community support for site selection.
Step. 6 Report to JCF (2021 Act 252)
2021 Act 252 mandated that the DOA must submit a report to the JCF after reviewing and approving plans.
Step 7. Plan/Zoning/City Approval Process (normal)
The DOC continues to seek the appropriate permitting approvals from the local governing bodies. As of December 16, 2022, the proposal has passed the Granville Advisory Committee, and the City Plan Commission. The City of Milwaukee’s Zoning, Development & Neighborhood Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on January 10, 2023, and then it will require a Common council vote. Please see the Public Engagement section for more information regarding these committees.
Step 8. (7b) Public Listening Session (2019 Act 8)
Due to the timing of the local process, which is not under the control of the DOC, Step 8 occurred simultaneously to Step 7. State Legislators and the DOC have held several public listening sessions which were noticed in compliance with 2019 Act 8. The local process only required that the DOC hold one meeting, however due to the lack of local representation, the DOC held three public listening sessions and an environmental assessment meeting, additionally the local jurisdictional state legislators held two public meetings. Please see the Public Engagement section for more information regarding these committees.
Step 9. SBC Approval (normal)
The State Building Commission approval process is two-fold. The first request was for the land purchase at Clinton Avenue which was approved on February 3, 2023. Once planning and design are at or near completion, the DOA will submit a design report for approval from the SBC and request authority to construct
Step 10. Finalize Design (normal)
Once the plan is approved by the SBC, the DOA works with the DOC to ensure all details of the design are finalized in preparation to put out the formal bid.
Step 11. Bid the Project (normal)
The DOA will submit the project for bid to seek contractors to construct the new building. This process will follow established DOA rules.
Step 12. Begin Construction (normal)
Once the bid process is completed, a contractor has been selected, and the contracts are finalized, the state can break ground at the selected site to begin construction.
What is a Type 1 facility?
A youth may be placed in a Type 1 secure youth correctional facility if a court gives the youth a Serious Juvenile Offender Program (SJOP) disposition or a correctional placement disposition. A youth may receive one of these dispositions only if they commit certain offenses and the court makes specific findings. Type 1 facilities are operated and staffed by the state of Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
How many Type 1 facilities does WI currently have?
There are currently three Type 1 facilities in WI. The DOC operates two Type 1 secure youth facilities which houses boys at Lincoln Hills and girls at Copper Lake Schools (LHS/CLS). They are located on one campus in Lincoln County. The Department of Health Services (DHS) also operates a Type 1 secure youth facility in Dane County that houses boys at Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC). DHS; Type 1 facility is a secure mental health treatment facility that houses boys who do not respond to the rehabilitation services provided at the DOC. Construction is underway at the MJTC campus to expand the facility to also house girls.
How was it decided to build new Type 1 facilities?
Enacted in 2018,
Act 185 requires the Department of Corrections to build new Type 1 facilities as part of the effort to close LHS/CLS. Please see the Act 185 overview section for more detail.
When will the youth from Lincoln Hills be transferred to one of the new facilities?
Youth at Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake will be transferred out of the facility as soon as an appropriate facility is constructed and adequate services are available for the youth.
Will the youth from Lincoln Hills eventually be transferred to the facility closest to their family?
The goal is to have the ability to transfer youth to the facility closest to their family and/or support system.
How many youth will the new Type 1 facilities hold?
Each Type 1 facility will be designed to serve approximately 32 youth.
How many will be employed in the new Type 1 facilities?
Each Type 1 facility is expected to employ approximately 107 employees.
When is the DOC going to close Lincoln Hills?
LHS/CLS will close when there is sufficient space to house both boys and girls under the care of the DOC in new Type 1 facilities. The DOC will provide regular updates to staff, the community and other stakeholders as the process moves forward. When Act 252 passed in spring 2021, the Legislature added language mandating that when the LHS/CLS could close, it shall then be repurposed into an adult correctional facility.
Why is it taking so long to close Lincoln Hills?
Even though the Legislature mandated that LHS/CLS close by July 1, 2021, LHS/CLS cannot close until there is sufficient space in new facilities. Funding for a Type 1 was not approved by the Legislature until April 2022. The DOC could not take any action without first having the funding approved for a new facility. A new facility cannot be built until siting, various approvals by local government(s), the Legislature, DOA, and the State Building Commission are completed. Once those approvals are completed planning, design, and construction would need to occur. The typical state construction process takes several years, and the legislature included additional steps to build a new Type 1 facility, extending the timeline further.
What's the difference between a Type 1 facility and a SRCCCY?
A Type 1 facility is operated by the state. A youth will be treated by the state in a Type 1 facility when a judge determines that a youth should be sentenced under the Serious Juvenile Offender (SJO) disposition, or if a youth is waived to adult court and is convicted as an adult. Please see the link on Type 1 Facilities for more information.
A Secure Residential Care Centers for Children and Youth (SRCCCYs) is a county run facility. As of August 2022, there are no SRCCCYs operating in the state. Racine County is actively constructing its new SRCCCY. Please see the link on SRCCCYs for more information.
How many SRCCCY's are located in WI?
There are currently no SRCCCYs in WI. Act 185 funded and operationalized SRCCCYs. In 2020, 4 counties were awarded funding to construct new SRCCCYs. Racine was the only county to formally accept their grant funds in 2020.
Youth Programming & Juvenile Justice
What is DBT?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is the primary treatment for all youth under the care of the Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC.) DBT is an evidenced based cognitive behavioral therapy designed to help youth who struggle to control their emotions and behaviors. For more information, please review our
Overview of Youth Programs & Services Overview.
Will you allow faith-based groups inside of the new facilities?
DJC currently provides faith-based groups the opportunity to volunteer and will continue to provide this opportunity at any new facilities. For more information, please review our
Overview of Youth Programs & Services Overview.
Will you have programs for families of youth in the new
With the facility being in close proximity to where the majority of youth live, programing was designed with families in mind and will be more accessible for families and caregivers of youth. Examples of programs will include family therapy during visiting hours, parenting groups, and high school graduation ceremonies.
Will you have job readiness training in the new
The Department of Corrections (DOC) is designing the new facility with classrooms dedicated to career technical education. For more information about programming, please review our
Overview of Youth Programs & Services Overview.. Career technical education at the new facility will be developed based upon market needs.
Will you provide transportation for families to the new
There is currently transportation during certain times available for families of youth at Lincoln Hills Schools and Copper Lake Schools (LHS/CLS). Building a new facility in Milwaukee was intentional in order to bring our kids closer to home. With public transportation nearby and in close proximity to families, it will lessen the barrier of getting to the facility for many families.
How do you know the programs you will provide at the new
All of the programs and services provided to youth are based on research and evidence shown to have success in other youth facilities and jurisdictions around the country. We consult regularly with national experts to ensure our programming follows best practices and national standards.
Do you provide programming when a youth leaves the new
For State supervised youth, the DJC provides intensive case management and programming for youth once they leave the facility. For county supervised youth, the facility continues to provide consultative support. For example, facility therapists will work with a youth's new therapist and provide a warm hand-off to that person.
What types of programming will you have at the new
All programming provided at DJC facilities are evidence-based and treatment focused. For more information, please review our
Overview of Youth Programs & Services Overview.
How secure will the new Milwaukee facility be?
A Type 1 youth facility is a maximum-security secure setting. Staff are monitoring the facility 24/7/365. Youth never exit the secure perimeter without an escort. All visitors require background checks and must be pre-approved and scheduled.
Will there be fencing and what will it look like?
The facility is completely secured by the building itself and a proposed 16-foot wall that matches the facade of the front and sides of the building around the recreational space outside. In addition, there will be a 6-foot fence at the border of the property. Youth are outside at set times and staff will always be outside with them. Youth will never be outside of the secure perimeter unless they are being transported with an approved escort.
Will there be enough parking for people at the new
The new building will have approximately 100 parking spaces. This will be enough space for employee parking and shift changes, as well as visitors.
Will youth have a place to go outside at the new
Within the secure perimeter wall, there are plans for a recreational space. Please refer to the
renderings section to see a visual.
How will visitation work? Will it increase traffic in the area?
Visitors coming to the secure facility must go through a background check and be pre-approved prior to visitations. Additionally, visitation is scheduled at set times and will not include all youth at the same time. Typically, visitation happens 2 times per week or may be scheduled on an individual basis with families.
Are there plans to expand the new Milwaukee facility beyond 32 youth?
There are no plans to expand this or any other new youth facility beyond 32. The available science indicates that is the maximum amount for a facility focused on treatment and rehabilitation of youth in the criminal justice system..
What does a bedroom look like for a youth staying there?
Each bedroom will be single occupancy only. The bedroom will have a single bed, a sink and a toilet. Other amenities in each bedroom may include a mirror, places for youth to hang up pictures, artwork, etc.
Do you take any environmental considerations in the building design?
Revegetation will occur as part of landscaping with trees, plantings, and grassed areas.
Beneficial impact during building demolition by assessing and removing potentially hazardous materials: typical materials found are asbestos, lead-based paint, mold, mercury to be removed and properly disposed.
Accessible ramps, bike lanes, and bike racks to be extended to the facility as a benefit.
LED lighting throughout the facility.
Natural lighting included wherever possible.
We will have recycling containers throughout the facility.
We've extended sidewalks for more walkable areas.
There is a plan to utilize electric vehicles for maintenance and safety staff
Electric vehicle charging stations
What happens when the new Milwaukee facility reaches a capacity limit? Where will other youth go?
Act 185 required the DOC to build smaller, regional facilities. The proposed site in Milwaukee is the first. The DOC will continue to operate LHS/CLS until we have enough space at other smaller facilities located throughout the state. Also, as part of Act 185, the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC) added additional beds and counties received grants to build Secure Residential Care Center for Children and Youth.
How will the youth be transferred in and out of the new
The DOC anticipates movement of youth from the new facility to occur about twice a month. A youth will never leave or enter our facility unescorted.
How was the location of this new
Milwaukee facility selected?
Phase 1: DOC adopted the criteria per the Juvenile Corrections Study Committee created in 2017 Act 185. This includes items related to specific land considerations, nearby transportation options, proximity and accessibility, nearby workforce, and local community resources. DOC, based on those criteria, did a preliminary evaluation to identify potential locations for the Type 1 facility in Milwaukee County.
Phase 2: DOC selects a potential location based on their evaluation. DOA at the request of DOC also did a preliminary evaluation of the site, assessed it against other comparable sites, and determined the site's availability for direct sale.
Below are some of the key aspects of Clinton Avenue that were considered:
Proximity to Community Services: (Resources and medical services for youth available to the site)
Clinton Avenue is within .6 miles of Good Hope Pediatrics and Froedtert Good Hope Health Center.
Locational Attributes and Site Information: (Site has ready access to major transportation routes. Site is in close proximity to a bus line with regular bus service several times a day. Site has low level of both foot traffic and is not in or near residential area.)
The Clinton Avenue site is primarily surrounded by commercial businesses.
Nearby bus transit from 76th St, and near a major highway - I41
Not a lot of local foot traffic in the area, residential area is separated by a wooded area with no road or walking path connections.
Public and Municipal Services: (Site has municipal services)
The Clinton Avenue site does have municipal services already to the site.
No known environmental issues listed on the DNR BRRTS site.
Phase 3: Negotiations with DOA Real Estate team to purchase the property. Resulted in a signed agreement with the property owner with normal contingencies required of the property and 2021 Act 252 requirements; local community support, DOA approval, JFC report, and SBC approval to construct.
Why are the new proposed facilities so expensive? Why can't you invest this money in prevention and community programming instead?
2017 Act 185 requires the DOC to build smaller regional facilities and 2021 Act 252 appropriated the money for that reason, and so the funding must be used for a new facility. The administration will always support increasing funds for effective evidence-based programs and services and in the last two budgets we have proposed such increases. The legislature has removed those increases. Regardless, the DOC will continue to invest in programming that works.
Operations, Security & Employment
I've read about past abuses at LHS/CLS. How will the DOC prevent that from happening again at new facilities?
Since the start of the Evers administration, the DOC has been working to comply with the federal consent decree. The DOC is committed to transitioning juvenile corrections from a punitive correctional model to evidence-based treatment facilities. In addition, this administration is working hard to update and finalize the administrative codes which codify all aspects of the federal consent decree. It is anticipated that the administrative codes will be finalized prior to the new facility opening.
Will you hire residents to work at this Milwaukee facility?
The new facility will create a number of new positions in the community. Position openings will be open to anyone who meets the hiring qualifications and are able to complete our youth counselor academy.
How will you notify the local community about jobs at the new facilities?
Hiring for the new facility will not occur for several years, as the process for approval of the location is still underway. Recruitment for facility positions will include advertisements in local area news sources. It will also include local job fairs.
Can this project be put on hold?
There is current law requiring the development of a new Type 1 Juvenile facility in Milwaukee and the transition of LHS/CLS to an adult minimum custody facility.
I'm worried crime will increase and no one else will want to move in or do business in this area of Milwaukee because of the new facility.
There is no research to support that crime increases when new or existing secure facilities exist in urban settings.
I'm worried the facility will take critical police resources away from neighborhoods.
There have been 3 calls for service to LHS/CLS over the last 4 years, and the last call was more than one year ago. This administration works tirelessly to provide safety and security for both youth and staff. Because of the priority of treating youth with dignity, respect, and providing a treatment-based environment, there is rarely a need for outside law enforcement resources. The majority of engagement with law enforcement is scheduled and should not take away from the local resources.
Will the new Milwaukee facility house girls? If not, where to they go?
The proposed facility in Milwaukee will only house boys. Two locations where girls can reside currently include Copper Lake School for Girls, and once construction is completed in 2023, Mendota Treatment facility operated by the Department of Health Services.
What is the recidivism rate for youth in custody?
Because Wisconsin's Juvenile Justice System is primarily operated by local county governments, a statewide recidivism rate does not currently exist.
What will you do to ensure you'll increase diversity at the new facilities?
The current administration prioritizes the recruitment and retention of employees who reflect the youth we serve. Having the facility located in a diverse community and having local employee recruitment efforts exist in the area surrounding the facility, it is our belief that we will be able to increase the diversity significantly as compared to the current staff at LHS/CLS.
How do you hold staff accountable?
The DOC has extensive work rules to hold staff accountable. In addition, the facility will be guided by policies and procedures and all staff at the facility will be held accountable to those.
The DOC has participated and facilitated several community meetings and the City is also holding several public hearings in relation to the new youth facility. Below are links to summaries of meetings already held and links to the City’s website in relation to their public hearings.
Community Input & Public Listening Sessions: 11/16 and 11/19
Granville Development Advisory Committee: 12/7
City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 12/12
Zoning, Neighborhood, & Development Public Hearing: 1/10
Racine County Youth Development and Care Center
Milwaukee County Division of Youth and Family Services
Dane County Youth Justice
Brown County Youth Court System
Department of Children and Families
Department of Health Services; Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center
Lincoln Hills & Copper Lake Schools
NEW TYPE 1 FACILITY IN MILWAUKEE RENDERINGS