Wisconsin Department of Corrections

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Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Wisconsin DOC.jpg
Seal of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Seal of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionWisconsin, USA
Map of USA WI.svg
Map of Wisconsin Department of Corrections's jurisdiction
Operational structure
HeadquartersMadison, Wisconsin
Agency executive
  • Kevin A. Carr, Secretary

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WIDOC) is an administrative department in the executive branch of the state of Wisconsin responsible for corrections in Wisconsin, including state prisons and community supervision. The secretary is a cabinet member appointed by the Governor of Wisconsin and confirmed by the Wisconsin Senate.[1]

Divisions of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections include: the Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC), the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI), the Division of Community Corrections (DCC) and Division of Management Services (DMS). WIDOC is headquartered in Madison.[2]


The first prison under the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections opened in 1851 in Waupun.[3] In 1853, Wisconsin permanently abolished the death penalty, making it the first state to do so.[4] In 1909, a law was enacted creating parole and the state's first Parole officer was appointed. In 1933, Taycheedah Correctional Institution opened as an all female prison.

In June 2008, over 120 minimum-security supervised inmate workers were used to assist in filling sandbags and flood cleanup during the flooding.

In April 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to order Governor Tony Evers and the Department of Corrections to reduce the prison population due to COVID-19.[5]

Division of Adult Institutions[edit]

The Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) oversees 19 adult institutions and 17 adult correctional centers, along with the Office of Program Services, the Bureau of Correctional Enterprises, the Bureau of Health Services and the Bureau of Offender Classification and Movement.[6] The Wisconsin Correctional Center System consists of 14 adult male facilities statewide that assist inmates in reintegration to the community.[7] The Wisconsin Women's Correctional System includes Taycheedah Correctional Institution and two adult female correctional centers.

Male inmates entering the prison system first go to Dodge Correctional Institution before being given permanent assignments, and female inmates to Taycheedah Correctional Institution.[8]

Division of Juvenile Corrections[edit]

The Division of Juvenile Corrections operates three juvenile facilities and several regional offices in the Northwest and Southeast.

Secured juvenile correctional facilities include:[9]

  • Lincoln Hills School and Copper Lake School are located in Irma, WI.
  • The Grow Academy is a residential program offering comprehensive treatment for county and state-supervised youth as an alternative to incarceration, as well as a step down for youth returning to the community.

The state also uses residential care centers and works with the Department of Health Services in relation to the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC).[10]

Facilities that are now closed include:

Division of Community Corrections[edit]

The function of the Division of Community Corrections (DCC) is to supervise offenders (more than 68,000 as of 2017) on probation, parole or extended supervision,[13] which includes the operation and maintenance of the Wisconsin sex offender registry program.[14] These offenders are supervised by Probation and Parole Agents who use evidence based-practices to enhance public safety by addressing their offender’s most influential criminogenic needs to lower their level of recidivism and assist them in building skills needed to be successful in the community. Agents provide investigative services to the courts and the Parole Commission to aid in sentencing and community reentry planning. [15]

On August 24, 2020, a Division of Community Corrections building was burned down during the Kenosha unrest. This office was responsible for the supervision of sexual offenders in Kenosha.

Division of Management Services[edit]

The Division of Management Services (DMS) provides analytical and operational services that support all Department of Corrections' policies, programs, and service delivery initiatives. The Division serves as a resource in the areas of training, risk management and safety, fleet management, budgeting, internal auditing, accounting, fiscal services, food services, purchasing and procurement, facilities management, telecommunications, general support services, information systems, technology management, and records management. [16]


The Wisconsin Department of Corrections operates 20 prisons.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, no officer has died in the line of duty.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ WI DOC-Leadership.
  2. ^ Home page. Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 12, 2018.
  3. ^ "Department History". doc.wi.gov. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Wisconsin". deathpenaltyinfo.org. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Lawsuit seeks release of Wisconsin inmates due to virus". Associated Press. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  6. ^ Division of Adult Institutions.
  7. ^ Wisconsin Correctional Center System.
  8. ^ "WI DOC Incarceration Lifecycle".
  9. ^ "Secured Juvenile Correctional Facilities." Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retrieved on July 5, 2010.
  10. ^ "Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC)." Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retrieved on July 30, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Johnson, Mike. "Millions spent on improvements to Ethan Allen School." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. March 6, 2011. Retrieved on September 22, 2011.
  12. ^ "Southern Oaks Girls School." Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retrieved on July 5, 2010.
  13. ^ "Division of Community Corrections (DCC)". State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  14. ^ WI DOC Sex Offender Registry
  15. ^ "DOC Department Careers". State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  16. ^ "DOC Division of Management Services". State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  17. ^ Officer Down Memorial Page

External links[edit]