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Assembly to vote on keeping youth prison open longer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Assembly is poised to pass a bill extending the deadline for closing Wisconsin’s troubled youth prison.

The Legislature overwhelmingly passed a law last year requiring the Department of Corrections to close the prison near Irma by Jan. 1, 2021 and set up smaller state- and county-run centers for juvenile offenders. The prison has been dogged by allegations of guard-on-prisoner abuse.

But Gov. Tony Evers says that the schedule is too aggressive and doesn’t allow enough time for building the smaller prisons.

Rep. Michael Schraa,a Republican, has a new proposal that would keep the prison open until July 1, 2021. The Assembly is scheduled to vote on it on Thursday. Approval then would send it to the Senate.

Evers has said meeting the July deadline might  be impossible.

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