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Democrat introduces bills in wake of youth prison probe

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Democratic state senator has crafted a package of bills he says are designed to increase safety at Wisconsin prisons in the wake of an investigation into alleged abuse at the state’s juvenile prison.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach said in a news release Wednesday that the bills call for four weeks of on-the-job training for new recruits and training for correctional officers who dispense medicine.

They also call for at least one staffed guard tower every shift, making workplace safety a subject of collective bargaining, limiting consecutive overtime shifts to two and making incident reports public records.

The state Justice Department began an investigation into alleged abuses at Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls in January 2015.

The bills’ chances look slim. Republicans control the Legislature.

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