Milwaukee council approves site for new youth prison

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Milwaukee City Council on Friday overwhelmingly approved the construction of a new youth prison in the city to replace a troubled jail in northern Wisconsin that has been scheduled to close for years.

Officials from Governor Tony Evers’ administration announced Tuesday that they had chosen a site in an industrial area of ​​the city for the facility.

A bill Evers signed this year provided $42 million for the project and required the council to approve a site. The board was not expected to meet until September, but board chairman Jose Perez called a special meeting on Friday to review the location. The council voted 11 to 1 to approve the project. Alderman Milele Coggs cast the only dissenting vote.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that neighbor reaction to the plan has been mixed. The region has lacked representation on the council since Alderman Chantia Lewis was found guilty of misconduct in office in July for using campaign funds for travel and personal expenses.

The new facility would replace the state’s troubled youth prison outside Irma. Officially known as Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls, it has been plagued by allegations of guard mistreatment for years.

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A number of steps remain to be completed before construction begins, including public hearings and approval of city zoning.

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