Dozens protest Dane County Jail expansion
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)--- Emotions ran high Wednesday night as the Dane County Board held a public meeting over the 2018 budget, which includes a controversial expansion to the county jail.
People gathered in front of city hall in a "De-rail the Jail" demonstration. Attendees say budget resources should be used to jail diversion rather than improvement so fewer people even need to be incarcerated.
""I want them to take that 108 million dollars and put it into schools and communities. Mental health. That's what these people need. As a black community. As a community of working class people." Madison resident Wali Muldrow said. Muldrow said he is a former inmate in the jail and doesn't believe the expansion will genuinely improve conditions for inmates.
The meeting got heated as one man who took the podium made inflammatory remarks toward the African American community regarding incarceration. NBC15 is following up on that speaker's statements and reaction from attendees of the meeting.
Several supervisors spoke with NBC15 off-camera prior to the meeting and said they are also in favor or jail diversion, but see the expansion as necessary since the current conditions are inhumane and unsafe.
The current budget includes 75 million dollars to renovate the Dane County Jail System. That would include mental health services and reduce solitary confinement.