Group plans sit-in at meeting about Brown County Jail expansion proposal

Brown County jail
(File photo)

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – A group that is opposed to a proposal to expand the Brown County Jail plans to hold a sit-in demonstration during a meeting Wednesday evening.

The Justice Organization Sharing Hope and United for Action — also known as JOSHUA — plans to share concerns over the expansion and ask questions about possible alternatives, like improving drug treatment for nonviolent first-time offenders.

Brown County Sheriff John Gossage will talk about the expansion options at 7 p.m. Wednesday in front of the Brown County Board. The total cost of the project would be around $14 million and will take two years to complete. It would add two dorm-type buildings to the existing facility, plus about 128 beds.

Sheriff Gossage says he’s not for or against it but wants the board to have all the information.

The jail can currently house 673 inmates, but Sheriff Gossage says it can be tough when you have to separate those inmate according to things like crime and gender.

There was also a big spike in the jail population numbers during the summer. The jail started transporting inmates to the Outagamie County Jail in June. The total cost of transporting 32 inmates was nearly $40,000. Sheriff Gossage says it could cost up to $600,000 a year to transport inmates if the jail doesn’t expand.

The Brown County Board will ultimately decide whether to go through with the expansion proposal.


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