Thursday, April 25, 2013

Another Day Another Safety Risk Found At Marathon County Jail

As I have been writing about for a few weeks now, the Marathon County Jail is a very dangerous place to be, due to severely unsafe conditions which stem from the violently assaulted by an inmate.  She was knocked unconscious by a blow to the head and has been in intensive care ever since.
austerity agenda of the Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger.  As a result of Karger's austerity, Correction Officer Julie Christensen had been put in harm's way and was

Since the assault, it was learned that the jail was severely overcrowded, dangerously understaffed, had broken equipment and guards were denied tasers to protect themselves.  All this happened even though there was enough money available to address these safety concerns.

Now, yet another safety issue has been found:
The central Wisconsin jail where two corrections officers were attacked last month performs only limited searches of inmates returning to jail from work-release programs, despite a 2011 recommendation to increase searches, according to a published report.

About 80 of the Marathon County Jail's 279 inmates are in the facility's work-release eligible section, the Daily Herald Media reported ( ). When those inmates return to jail each day, they pass through a metal detector and are patted down for weapons. However, jail officials say they don't have enough staff to do strip searches, which means inmates could potentially sneak in weapons or other contraband.

Wisconsin's Huber Law, the nation's oldest work-release program for jail inmates, allows inmates to leave for up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, the Marathon County sheriff's department said. About 70 percent of those who leave are working, and the rest leave to search for jobs, perform community service, attend school or provide child care, former jail Administrator Bob Dickman said.

Dickman, who resigned last week in the wake of the March 27 attack on the corrections officers, said there are only limited searches because of a lack of manpower.

"We just don't have the staff," he said. "We did request an additional officer, just for searches, but right now, we don't do searches nearly enough."

Naturally, Karger denies this, claiming he went through seven years' worth of requests, but couldn't find one. Yeah, right.

Dickman, who was scapegoated by Karger and Deputy Sheriff Scott Parks, has no reason to lie about this. He's already out of a job.

Karger, on the other hand, doesn't want to give up his $117,000+ salary. It's pretty apparent that Karger's faith in austerity stops with his own paycheck.

Another reason that Karger would want to sweep the trouble under the rug is that his buddy Parks is in the running to be picked to be the new Sheriff. It just wouldn't do to have problems being brought up time and time again as Scott Walker is interviewing the candidates:

Then again, since Walker is the Archbishop of Austerity, Walker might think the more problems they have, the more austere they must be, and will earn his approval.

But just to be safe, Parks better have made sure he gave Walker a lot of campaign cash.  Nothing gets Walker's attention like money, and the more money you give Walker, the more of his attention you get.

If you wish to help Correction Officer Julie Christensen, there has been a trust fund established in her name at Integrity First Bank, 101 Grand Avenue, Wausau, WI 54403.  Their phone number is  (715) 845-0900.


  1. Of course there were no written "records" of jail position requests, they were all stopped in the initial screening process and the requests were never approved to be written up and submitted to the County Board. Karger was the Marathon County HR director for many years before he became Assistant County Administrator and then Administrator when Mort McBain retired. Notice he did not say he ever "heard" of jail position requests, only that he could find no written "record" of the requests. His presentations are completely dishonest, anyone who worked at a mid level and up supervisory position in the sheriff's dept or in the jail, repeatedly heard verbal requests and pleas for more jail staff. The major finding of the last independent jail study concluded the jail was understaffed. Is Karger stating this issue was never formally discussed with department heads or in the county board's public safety subcommittee (it was). Is Karger saying that staffing shortages were never mentioned by the union (when it existed) during the time he negotiated contracts. He is a liar and the Wausau Daily Herald buys into and publishes his lies.

  2. Thanx for keeping those of us in Central Wisconsin up to date on this. Our local media certainly hasn't been doing so.