Born Discusses Role On Prison Study Task Force

(Beaver Dam) State Representative Mark Born says he has been touring various state prisons as part of a task force group. Among other things, the goals of the committee are to tackle capacity issues with adult populations in state prisons and address the outdated Waupun and Green Bay prisons. During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Born told us they have hired a consultant to aid in the process and help gather data. Born says because of capacity issues, inmates are not able to be relocated to medium security prisons where treatment programs such as workforce development and substance abuse counseling are offered. He says it is also cheaper to house prisoners at minimum security facilities but the capacity issues are prohibiting such efficiencies. The Beaver Dam Republican says concerns have been raised that the study is tasked with trying to build more prisons. He says that is not necessarily true and that the committee’s goal is to make sure that system’s already place are functioning within current law. Born says competitive pay is one of the issues driving staff shortages across state prisons. He says because of recent economic growth and record employment participation, it lowers the number of individuals looking for jobs and in turn increases wages. Born says one of the challenges for the Department of Corrections is that their pay scale is based in regions. Born says more prisons are participating in job fairs and advertising open positions to help address staffing issues. The prison’s study report is scheduled for completion this fall so Governor Scott Walker can consider any recommendations in advance of the capital budget.