Work to cut prison population in half in coming years
Evers described this as a “goal” in various venues, acknowledging it could not be done within a single term. This issue was a source of multiple attacks during the campaign.
In a July 12 forum, Evers said he supported eventually cutting the prison population in half:
Moderator: The multi-racial interfaith organization MICAH launched a campaign in 2011 to cut the state prison population by half, from 22,000 to 11,000. It now sits at 23,000. Do you support that original goal, and how would you balance reducing the prison population —
Evers: Absolutely, and that's a goal that’s worth accomplishing … We have to stop people incarcerating people for non-violent crimes.
In addition, Evers provided the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a July 2, 2018 statement that said: “I would want my administration to develop a comprehensive prison reform package that will actually prevent recidivism, decrease our prison population and save the state money. This could include drug court expansion, increased services and resources for treating drug and alcohol addiction, returning 17 year olds to the juvenile system instead of charging them as adults, revising Wisconsin’s ‘truth-in-sentencing’ laws and increased support for more community policing programs.”
In other places, Evers pledged suport for several reforms that could help achieve this goal, including ending mandatory minimum sentences and ending parole violations for technical issues.