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Protestors call for Waupun prison to be shut down after inmate deaths; warden and others charged

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 09, 2024

WAUPUN (NBC 26) — On Sunday, a group gathered outside the Waupun Correctional Institution calling for the 171-year-old prison to be demolished.

  • Protestors held a vigil outside of the Waupun Correction Instituion to bring light to the inmates who died
  • They say it's a part of a growing effort for prison reform around the state

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story, with additional details for the web)

The purpose of the protest was to promote the overall goal of prison reform around Wisconsin.

The pleas come after nine prison employees—including the former warden—were charged in connection with the deaths of two inmates. The former warden was charged with misconduct in public office and other eight were charged with inmate abuse.

Protestor D'ante Cottingham organized the gathering outside the gates.

"I did 27 years, I've been out about 26 months."

Cottingham is a self-proclaimed product of the system, using what he learned in prison and at Marquette University to teach people about what he says really goes on behind bars...

Meanwhile, Allouez Village President Jim Rafter made the trek down from Green Bay, hoping today starts a chain of prison reform around the state as well.

"They're dealing with people's lives," Rafter tells me. "We need to do a better job as a state of helping folks who are incarcerated get the training and the treatment that they need so that when they do return to the community, they can do so safely."