GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — While the future of the Green Bay Correctional Institute remains unclear, a local group is advocating for a plan to reduce the community’s prison population.
For several years, officials have discussed plans to replace and/or decommission the prison, which is now 121 years old. According to JOSHUA (Justice Organization Sharing Hope & United for Action), building and operating a prison could cost Wisconsin $1 billion over the next 20 years. Instead, they suggest the state should use that $1 billion to invest in programs to reduce crime, rebuild communities, and help ex-convicts get back on their feet following their incarceration.
JOSHUA shared their message to community members at a free event Thursday night at Saint Matthew Church. They also referenced a May 2019 audit report that cited GBCI as the best candidate for closure amongst Wisconsin prisons.
A proposal to replace GBCI as part of the state budget was in place, but Governor Tony Evers removed the measure from his final draft, citing the need to establish criminal reform in Wisconsin before beginning the replacement process.