Report: Record number of adults in Wisconsin prisons

A new report shows the number of adults in Wisconsin prisons reached a record high last year.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum released a report Wednesday that found a record 23,687 people were incarcerated in state prisons in 2017. That’s up 2.3 percent from 2016.

The report notes that the state Department of Corrections’ 2019-21 budget request projects the population will grow by another 5.7 percent by 2021. The agency wants an additional $149.4 million to handle the influx. That would bring the DOC’s total annual spending to $1.4 billion by 2021.

The report attributes the growth to truth-in-sentencing laws and more inmates serving time for violent crimes.

Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tony Evers has been trying to make prisons an issue, proposing to cut the population in half.

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