State Rep Schraa Proposes Alternative To Building Geriatric Inmate Prison

The chairman of the State Assembly’s Corrections Committee is proposing a program that would have the state buy a former Waupaca County nursing home to house some of the state’s geriatric inmates. Michael Schraa says the state had $43 million in its Corrections’ budget to build a prison for geriatric inmates, but took it out of the budget. He says it would cost about $1 million to buy the former Waupaca County nursing home, which is already outfitted to serve a geriatric population. He says the state has 1,100 to 1,300 geriatric inmates and those who would be housed in this prison are frail and in some cases hospice patients. He says it would save the state a lot of money because state prisons aren’t equipped to handle those types of needs. He says it would be a pilot program. Schraa says Wisconsin wants to avoid what happened in California where an elderly inmate successfully sued the state because he wasn’t being properly cared for. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled California had to spend $830 million to build a geriatric inmate prison.