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Wisconsin Transfers Spark Protest

On Sunday June 28, 1998, prisoners at the Fox Lake Correctional Institution staged a protest against the scheduled transfer of 160 Wisconsin prisoners to a private prison in Oklahoma.

According to eye-witnesses, about 155 prisoners refused orders to return to their cells from a recreation area. Emergency response [goon] units were brought in and the prisoners were again ordered to clear the yard. All but about 25 complied. The remaining prisoners complied after yet another order.

After the three-hour standoff ended, state prison chief Michael Sullivan said only 12 of the prisoners involved were scheduled for transfer. "The rest just wanted to demonstrate," he said.

As of late July, the state of Wisconsin had exiled about 1,600 prisoners to Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Minnesota; another 3,000 are expected to be shipped to other states.

Families and prison rights activists staged a protest outside the state capitol July 13. Many criticized the policy, saying it severs family ties. During the protest, state Rep. Scott Walker (R) held an impromptu news conference.

"I wish some of these family members had shown the same level of interest in their loved ones before they were sent to prison," Walker pontificated. "If they had, maybe they wouldn't be behind bars in the first place."
Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, Appleton Post-Crescent , Reader Mail

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