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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's The Story Of These Two Stories? Part III

I've already written about the problems that have been going on at the Milwaukee County House of Correction, the Community Correctional Center, and the reporting of these stories. Now, it goes from bad to worse.

In another article by Steve Schultze, we find that Corrections Manager Jones-Grams, successfully beat the charges against her and will be reinstated to her position. The charges against her, in a scapegoat maneuver by Scott Walker, Tosa Ranger, was that she "had allowed 'work-release inmates to freely come and go.'"

The review board, which is hand-picked and appointed by Walker, couldn't help but find that these charges could not be proven. Why? Well, the article gives three good reasons:

One thing the case has made clear: Inmates at the work-release center are not locked in. There are no cells and no locks on the dorm-like rooms inmates share at the center, a converted hospital at 1004 N. 10th St. Exit doors leading from each floor of the five-story building also are unlocked, because of fire regulations.
and

Testimony in the Jones-Grams case and a state audit this year also revealed that video security cameras at the center weren't recording anything and that supplies for printing inmate photos often were not available. That meant that inmate cards used to verify the identity of inmates often lacked photos.
and

Testimony from current and former county correction officials in the Jones-Grams case revealed that the center has had an average of three escapes a week since the late 1990s. Inmates gone more than 24 hours are written up as having escaped, with a referral made for an arrest warrant.

So, we find that despite a long history of problems of inmates escaping from the CCC, we have Walker cutting the funding so that it is even easier for inmates to take off and be on the loose to commit more crimes. He also blames officers for not doing their jobs, when he won't allow them the equipment or supplies that they would need to do those jobs. To add to this mess, there is all the overtime that has to be paid for the coverage needed to take the place of these officers while they are waiting for their hearings and for their jobs back, the cost of the hearings, and all the other administrative expenses for Walker's red herring hearings.

How exactly does this fit into Walker's "Safe. Affordable. Pride." campaign slogan? We won't know, based on the article:

Nola Cross, Jones-Grams' lawyer, said Jones-Grams was a political scapegoat.

Walker declined to comment.

And speaking of the article, it would have been nice if Mr. Schultze had told us why Ms. Jones-Grams, who was fired last, got her hearing right away, while the three front line officers have to wait another six months until they get their hearings.

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