[Wisconsin] Bill would create reentry center to ease transitions after prison

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WPR on 11/6/2023 by Sarah Lehr

Wisconsin’s budget sets aside $4M for facility

Legislation advancing in Wisconsin would create a reentry center that aims to ease transitions for people getting out of prison.

State senators heard testimony this month on a bill that would direct Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections to contract with a nonprofit or other organization to run the facility.

The center would include offices where people can meet with their parole and community supervision agents. Additionally, staff at the center would help people with tasks, including finding housing, creating and submitting resumes, signing up for health care, getting government documents like social security cards and setting up bank accounts.

The goal is a one-stop shop to reduce recidivism by heading off pitfalls like homelessness, unemployment or drug relapse, the bill’s bipartisan supporters say.

“These services are being delivered — they’re just siloed and fragmented,” said Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee. “It makes it much more difficult for somebody with limited means or limited stability to access those very disjointed services, and we think putting them under one roof will help people access the treatment that we want them to get.”