Wisconsin prisoner population dropped in 2020 amid pandemic

Posted at 9:05 AM, Mar 25, 2021

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The number of inmates in Wisconsin's prisons dropped dramatically last year to levels not seen in more than 20 years.

A new report Thursday from the Wisconsin Policy Forum found that weekly data from the state Department of Corrections shows the adult prison population declined nearly 16% from the end of February 2020 to the end of last month. '

At 19,581 inmates, that's the lowest level since October 1999.

The average daily jail population, meanwhile, dropped 35% from April 2019 to April 2020.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum attributed the declines to tactics designed to slow COVID-19, including Gov. Tony Evers' order to suspend new prison admissions, delays in trials and more electronic monitoring.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.