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Browsing: Crime and Justice
According to a Marquette Law School poll last fall, 64% of registered Wisconsin voters, and 43% of Republicans, favor full legalization. Thirty percent of Wisconsinites and 50% of Republicans think it should remain illegal. Only 6% of registered voters say they just don’t know.
Many counties in Wisconsin have essentially decriminalized the possession or sale of marijuana, or cannabis, as it now often is known, and the relatively few people who are charged criminally in other counties are ever incarcerated.
Partisans are actively hoping Janet Protasiewicz will have a role in casting a decisive vote on redistricting, school choice, voter ID and even rolling back Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10, prohibiting collective bargaining for most state employees.
You know those decals that make your car look like it’s been hit by gunfire?
My family’s car has something like that, only more authentic: a bullet hole in the tailgate.
Governor Evers signed a budget passed by the Legislature that includes a more than 30% starting pay raise for assistant district attorneys and assistant public defenders and more flexibility for merit-based pay raises for attorneys currently in those roles. This makes the compensation for these roles more competitive and should reduce the high rates of turnover currently existing in District Attorney and public defender offices.
Wisconsinites clearly got some wins in the 2023-2025 biennel budget. Now the task at hand is consolidate and expand those moving forward.
A deal that allows both the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to raise sales taxes also requires that 25 police officers be placed back in crime-ridden Milwaukee Public Schools.
“This is a great victory for all the good kids in MPS schools who just want to learn, want to be safe, want a way up,” said Mike Nichols, president of the Badger Institute, which has been pushing for cops in schools for much of the last year.
The Badger Institute on Wednesday praised action by the Legislature’s budget writing committee to raise pay for prosecutors and public defenders, a move the Institute has been advocating for nearly a year.
Progressive city councils across the country are being forced by violence in and near their public schools to rethink their bans on stationing police officers on those campuses.
Assembly Republicans have proposed a sales tax plan for the city of Milwaukee that would put police officers back in Milwaukee Public Schools for the first time since 2016. The plan would allow the financially hobbled city to levy a local 2% sales tax with the promise of state shared revenue to help pay down on its ballooning pension debt.
Public safety is a foundational requirement for prosperity in our communities. This means that fully funding the various systems that ensure public safety is a requirement, not a political preference. That’s why individuals from the most progressive to the most conservative agree these agencies should function effectively.
A spokesman for Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson has told the Badger Institute it is “likely that Milwaukee police officers will have a renewed presence in some Milwaukee Public Schools in 2023.” Should Milwaukee Public Schools and the Milwaukee Police Department follow through, it would be the first time officers have been posted in schools since 2016. The School Board allowed officers to patrol around schools for four years after that but voted unanimously to prohibit that as well in June 2020 after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Students in Milwaukee’s public high schools who want a better life and know that school is their only way up are being battered, assaulted and exposed to gunfire or other reckless conduct on a daily basis. The school board ignores that and listens to activists, who think cops are bullies.
Wisconsin’s criminal justice system must first and foremost work to reduce crime, improve public safety and achieve justice for victims.
The Badger State remains, on the whole, a safe place that’s been getting safer. But Wisconsinites who live and work in Milwaukee have seen dramatic increases in homicide, auto theft and aggravated assault. For some specific offenses, other Wisconsin cities are also seeing worsening trends.
Of the convicted criminals Wisconsin imprisons, most will serve a sentence and be released. Then what?
Milwaukee is among the cities that have repeatedly cut law enforcement positions in recent years.
Not only has the city reduced the number of authorized police positions, it has fewer officers to fill them, leading to higher vacancy rates. This inability to fill what remaining positions the city is funding includes leadership ranks: The Milwaukee Police Department is facing a damaging loss of institutional knowledge and practical skills, a loss that could worsen policing just when Milwaukee needs its force to perform at its peak.