News reports indicate that correctional officers, rather than nurses or other medical staff, have been distributing prescription medications to the children housed at most of the housing units at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes schools, resulting in frequent and harmful medication errors.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin sent a letter to the Department of Corrections (DOC) today asking that the DOC immediately correct this practice.

“The continued use of correctional officers to distribute medications to children at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake, particularly in light of reports of errors serious enough to result in hospitalization, likely violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments by putting the children at an intolerable risk of harm.  We therefore ask that you take immediate steps to insure that nurses, with at least an LPN license, distribute all prescription medications to the children at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake as soon as possible,” the letter reads.

The medication problems at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake are extremely similar to those in another ACLU of Wisconsin lawsuit, where United States District Judge Rudolph Randa ordered DOC to have medications at Taycheedah Correctional Institution distributed by medical staff with qualifications equivalent to or greater than licensed practical nurses.

Today’s letter is available below.

More information on the Taycheedah case can be found at:

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