John C. Burke Correctional Center (JBCC) is located in Waupun, on Business 151/Madison Street. Its current operating capacity is 250 adult male inmates. JBCC is part of the Wisconsin Correctional Center System (WCCS), an "institution" comprised of 14 adult, male correctional centers overseen by a single warden whose office is centrally located in Madison.
JBCC sits on the site of what once was the Minimum Security Bunkhouse, a housing facility for the Waupun Correctional Institution, until 1988 when it was annexed by WCCS. Ground was broken on construction of the modern facilities in 1989 and completed in July of 1990. JBCC originally housed minimum-security male inmates; however, due to population fluctuations, the center transitioned to a female facility in October of 2000. Oversight was transferred from WCCS to the Wisconsin Women’s Correctional System in 2005. In November of 2011, the facility reverted to housing minimum-security males as part of WCCS.
JBCC is named after the late John C. Burke who served as warden of the Wisconsin State Prison from 1938 to 1969. Warden Burke is credited with a number of major correctional accomplishments, including the establishment of an internal disciplinary court system and the inmate classification system.
JBCC offers work release programs with local employers through which employment is provided for qualified inmates, with emphasis made on maintaining that employment placement after the inmate’s release. Funds earned through work release can be used to pay fees, restitution and other obligations. Work experience through the Bureau of Correctional Enterprises provide offsite work opportunities. Work release and offsite opportunities are determined based on evaluation of risk and needs of each individual’s case and placements cannot be guaranteed for all eligible inmates. Work release and offsite opportunities are a privilege not a right and are provided at the discretion of the center superintendent and warden. Inmates also have an opportunity to attend school on-grounds with individual tutoring for inmates as they work towards earning a High School Equivalency Diploma. Additional programs vary and are available for inmates with identified needs, and based on available volunteers and community partners.
The JBCC project crew assists local government agencies and non-profit organizations on a variety of work projects, incorporating a positive work experience, building new skills, and giving back to the community. Community service opportunities are also offered with staff or agency supervision.