Last week, I wrote about a couple of stories that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel which dealt with the House of Correction and the Community Correctional Center. This morning we see a third story. Predictably, the powers that be chose to eliminate the late night hours that were traditionally allowed to inmates at HOC and CCC. This was a move long overdue.
But the odd thing in this story is the way the management is handling the issue. It's like watching an old Three Stooges or Abbott and Costello routine. First, we have the official position from last week:
Assistant Superintendent Willie Brisco said last week that the late hours worked as a good management tool for corrections officers, who could revoke the privilege for rule violations.
Apparently someone was not happy with Brisco's statements. He's not talking, but not we have acting Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Mayer:
Canceling the late inmate hours will help avoid the possibility of fights breaking out, said Jeffrey Mayer, acting assistant superintendent. And if that happened, staffing could be compromised, he said.
And let us not forget Superintendent Ron Malone, who, as previously reported didn't even know what the policy at HOC was. He chimes in with:
On Monday, Malone said the change was made in part because of the article but also had been under consideration and would likely have been made by January in any case.
He decided to put the change into effect immediately, even though advance notice of work changes normally are given, Malone said.
"After the publicity of it, I just said, 'Let's do it,' " Malone said. "It had come up before. It was something we were already looking at," he said.:
Well, this is news to a lot of people. From today's article
The practice was subject of a grievance in summer by correctional officers, who complained the late-night socializing by inmates jeopardized officers' safety. But officials rejected the complaint.
Kevin Schoofs, president of the correctional officers union, said Monday that the change was welcome but overdue. He said he had not been given any inkling that Malone was considering doing away with the late-night hours for inmates. In fact, Malone told him he was adamantly opposed to changing the policy during a recent meeting with the union, Schoofs said.
Something tells me some heads are going to roll. We already know that Walker doesn't like to look bad, and will take any scapegoat he can get. Ironically, during all this, Walker did not have anything to say. He had a spokesperson say he agrees with the plan, but otherwise is suspiciously quiet. (And no, I don't expect Walker to micromanage every department in the County, but after a series of articles, I would expect some sort of statement.)
I guess he is to busy trying to figure out how to spin the fact that he is about to break his promise not to run for another term as County Executive, by announcing his campaign kick-off, maybe as soon as this week.