(Madison, WI) -- The state says it will not try to challenge or delay a federal judge's order to make rapid changes in the way juvenile offenders are punished at Lincoln Hills.
Judge James Peterson has told the corrections' department to limit solitary confinements to seven days instead of the present 60 days or longer at the state boys' and girls' institutions in Lincoln County. The judge also said pepper spray should only be used when inmates show the potential for causing harm -- and he wants both new policies in place by July 21st. Media reports cite a memo in which juvenile corrections' administrator John Paquin said it would take a lot of work to meet the court's deadlines, but "leadership and staff can successfully rise to the challenge." The judge's ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed by inmates and civil rights' groups opposing solitary confinements and pepper spray at the teen facilities.