December 20, 2022
While it may be difficult to believe another holiday season is just around the corner, I want to use this time to express my gratitude for all the ways our staff make this agency outstanding. I am grateful for each and every employee that inspires others—and me—daily with their positive attitude, willingness to help and relentless work ethic.
Together we have accomplished a lot as an agency this past year. Just a few highlights in the recruitment category include celebrating the graduation of the largest Correctional Officer Pre-Service class of 2022 in November, the graduation of the largest Agent Basic Training class in December and bringing together 17 new Youth Counselors with other newly-hired uniformed and non-uniformed staff to complete the new Facility Staff Training and Support Academy.
We also saw the first group of DOC students earn Small Business Entrepreneurship technical diplomas from Madison College while at Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility through a new Second Chance Pell Grant program. We helped men and women prepare for employment after their release through our 11 institution Job Centers, 5 mobile labs and various vocational training opportunities in high-demand fields like welding, mechatronics, electrical maintenance, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and carpentry.
With the support of our valued partners like the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the Wisconsin Technical College System, we expanded apprenticeship programs to underserved populations, adding programs such as a 12-credit certified Pre-Apprenticeship welding program. As a leader in apprenticeship, Wisconsin relies heavily on partnerships such as these to develop high-quality, effective programs that address the state's workforce needs.
DOC also played an integral role in helping combat one of Wisconsin’s most pressing issues, the opioid epidemic, by installing “Nalox-Zone Boxes” across Probation and Parole Offices statewide. We also celebrated change and recovery for clients on community supervision at the Division of Community Corrections’ first-ever 180 Awards ceremony.
We kept pursuing juvenile justice reform, announcing a potential site for a new Type 1 facility in Milwaukee. While there are still several steps in the process to approve the site, this reflects an important step for our agency. Our Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC) also continued to work hard to transition to a more evidenced-based treatment model, implementing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as the primary cognitive behavioral therapy at Lincoln Hills School/Copper Lake School and launched a new behavioral motivation system at the schools. We continued nurturing our valued partnerships with organizations such as the Madison Public Library, who recently worked with youth at The Grow Academy to record a podcast.
As we look towards the holiday season and the beginning of a new year, I hope you can all be proud of what we’ve accomplished together. I know I’m incredibly proud of our agency’s hard work throughout 2022, and I thank our dedicated staff members for their innovation, long hours and endless support for our mission to Serve Wisconsin and Impact Lives. I believe there’s never been a better time to stand proud as a DOC employee.
Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful and safe holiday season, and blessed New Year.
DOC Secretary Kevin Carr