Wisconsin. Lawmaker Wants to Overhaul State’s Juvenile Justice System

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) – A state lawmaker wants to revamp Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system, after a Milwaukee gang member apparently got breaks that let him get more violent.

Senate Republican Alberta Darling of River Hills says Latin Kings gang leader Armando Barragan showed how he could work the justice system to his advantage.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently found that Barragan got breaks as a teenager – and it apparently allowed him to kill or try to kill 6 people before he was 18.

Officials say Barragan is probably in Mexico, after being a fugitive for years and making the U.S. Marshals’ most wanted list. Darling said Barragan did not face any consequences, and he should have. She plans to meet soon with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm on possible changes in state laws.

Among other things, Darling wants to let case workers hold juveniles who violate judges’ orders. A case worker recommended that Barragan go to jail after he attacked a police officer. But it took 2 months to get a warrant – and authorities said Barragan ordered an execution at a gas station around that time.

Chisholm says part of Milwaukee’s problem is that the juvenile and adult courts are in different buildings – and a lack of communication lets some matters fall through the cracks.

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