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Wisconsin prison population edging toward new record

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Posted at 1:44 AM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 08:53:20-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's prisons are on track for a record number of inmates by 2019 as violent crime edges upward.

The nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says the growing population is fueled in part by tougher sentences.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the state Department of Corrections expects to have 23,233 in mates by June 2019. That would be slightly above the record 23,184 in 2007.

Wisconsin's prison population had grown for years before it began to decline in 2008. But the population began rising again in 2013.

Both Republicans and Democrats worry about costs associated with the increase. Rep. Michael Schraa, an Oshkosh Republican who chairs the Assembly Corrections Committee, wants to find a pilot project to give intensive treatment to drunken drivers rather than longer prison sentences.

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