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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Sheriff Clarke Takes No Prisoners, Fires Back at Biased Reporter and Liberal Judge

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In this column, Sheriff Clarke gives his take on the ongoing controversy over the management of the House of Correction.


Only the Milwaukee County Board Would Do It This Way
Steve Schultze, a writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JS), has failed throughout his coverage of the legal battle between the Milwaukee County Board and the Sheriff, over public safety and the House of Correction (HOC) in Franklin,Wisconsin.  He has ignored facts that would allow readers to draw their own conclusions. He has steered readers toward his bias, and has failed to detail what is going on behind this insane and purely political public policy decision.   
Let me do what Schultze is obviously incapable of doing, that being informing readers and the public.
This dangerous public policy move by the County Board to take over operations of the HOC is about one thing. My belief is that criminals, upon conviction, should be punished and separated from law-abiding people. "Catch and Release" Judge Jeff Kremers, wants convicted criminals to serve their sentences on the street, in predominantly central city neighborhoods and schools, and I won't allow it.  Kremers doesn’t have to fear being victimized by these repeat criminals because he lives in Shorewood.  His false sense of security is naïve however because today’s criminals are mobile.   
When criminals are free to roam among law-abiding citizens, they are rewarded for criminal behavior.  When career criminals see that they will not be punished for wrongdoing they will repeat their criminal behavior.  As Aristotle said, "A man is what he continually does."  Since Kremers has no authority over sentenced inmates, and he could not get me to acquiesce to his lenient philosophy, and when his threats didn’t make me blink, he went to Supervisor Pat Jursik and got her to start the movement to take back authority for the House of Correction.  This is how Milwaukee County decides on public safety policy.  They don’t make policy in the best interest of efficiency and safety.  All decisions and considerations are political.
When the County Board asked me in 2009, to straighten out the HOC, it was a disaster of a correctional facility.  They didn’t offer me any additional compensation, even though they were running it with over a half-million dollars in salary and benefits for a superintendent and two assistant superintendents.  I eliminated that unnecessary level of management and turned the savings over to facility improvements.  I used my existing executive staff to run the facility.  They received no additional compensation either.  The year before I took over, the HOC had a $5 million deficit.  The year after I took over we ended the fiscal year with a surplus and have had one since.  Overtime use was out of control, as was sick use by staff. 
With that, Clarke was just getting started.
Read the entire, incredible, piece.


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