In today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , it is being reported that Milwaukee County could be on the hook for $80 million dollars. The reason for this is due to ongoing violations of a court order to clean up the county jail and to adhere to the state law regarding processing people that have been arrested and are to be booked.
In 2001, the courts found the jail to be in violating people's civil rights due to the deplorable condition and the long lengths of time before they are being processed at the booking part of the jail. In the course of the next five years, the Sheriff's Office has violated the stipulation they agreed to in regards to how the prisoners are being treated by some 16,000 times.
Sheriff Clarke, who is responsible for jail operations, bears the blunt of the blame for this problem. It is up to him to find a way to meet this stipulation. Perhaps he was too busy writing memos telling his staff not to leak those memos, which of course, ended up getting leaked any way. Or maybe he was just to busy preparing his defense for the numerous other lawsuits his department is facing--from its own staff.
To be fair to Clarke though, one must wonder how much of the blame goes to Scott Walker, who has repeatedly cut the Sheriff's Office's budget. It is hard to do a job when you don't have the proper equipment, training or resources needed to do it.
So now it appears for the price of a few dollars per year, the county might be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars. The question must be asked: Does this fall under Safe, Affordable or Pride?
For a more in-depth (and better written) review of the matter, with links dating back a considerable amount of time, please visit Milwaukee Rising.