PRAIRIE DU CHIEN - The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) is converting Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution (PDCI) from a medium-security to minimum-security institution.
The move aligns with the DOC’s priority of expanding opportunities in evidence-based community programs, while also lowering the number of individuals on the DOC’s wait list to get into a minimum-security facility.
Roughly 75 percent of the 500 currently incarcerated at PDCI are already classified as minimum custody. Converting PDCI to a minimum-security facility will require moving individuals at PDCI classified as medium custody to other medium-security institutions, and moving in individuals classified as minimum custody who are currently housed in medium-security institutions. This would expand PDCI’s current project crew and provide a larger number of people in DOC care the opportunity to participate in work release programs when they resume. They are currently suspended due to the pandemic.
“Work release serves several purposes,” said DOC Secretary Kevin Carr. “It helps persons in our care develop a work history, and also improve or acquire new job skills. Those are things that can help people be successful when reentering the community, so we’re excited about the possibility of extending those opportunities to more individuals.”
Community-based programs have shown success in reducing recidivism and better preparing individuals to reenter the workforce. Income earned by those in work release is used to pay things like restitution and court-ordered obligations, and can also be saved to assist when reentering the community.At the start of 2021, the DOC will begin reviewing individuals at PDCI who are classified as medium custody and determine transfer locations for each. For those transferring to another site, the DOC’s goal is to have continued participation in education and programming that meets the specific needs of each individual.