Under the order, any defendant who is sentenced to prison will be held in a county jail instead of being transferred to one of DOC’s more than 30 prison facilities across the state.
Neal said most individuals who violate probation and parole rules would also go to the county jails, but some would go to a DOC facility in Milwaukee that is specifically for felons who violate their supervision terms. It is the only such DOC facility.
Although the emergency order could help prevent an inmate from bringing COVID-19 into a prison, it might also put extra pressure on county jails, including potential overcrowding.
Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said there were “absolutely no conversations” with county sheriffs about the impact the order will have on county jails. The Dane County Jail was notified of the change via email at 5:30 p.m. Friday.“It’s really got sheriffs really upset,” Mahoney said. “It’s just very frustrating — as we’re trying to keep our own institutions healthy while we continue to hold prison inmates for the Department of Corrections — that we were not involved in at least a conversation about the need to find a collaborative solution.”
Mahoney said if the governor would have consulted county sheriffs, they could have come up with another solution to keep the prisons and jails safe, such as screening all inmates before transferring them to prisons.
We’re watching a very average man lurch from draconian thing to stupid thing without any real understanding of the consequences. Why are we allowing this one man to have so much power over our lives? We elected a governor, not a king.