Milwaukee County Board budget amendment to fund third-party audit of Milwaukee County Jail
Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors convened on Thursday, November 9, to adopt the 2024 County Budget. Included in this year’s budget was an amendment package that included $250,000 for a third-party audit of the County Jail. The adoption of the amended budget marks a step towards securing transparency and accountability in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
The third-party audit has been a demand of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression for several months. While it’s not everything that the Milwaukee Alliance is fighting for, the inclusion of this third-party audit in the adopted budget marks a significant win for the movement against police crimes in Milwaukee. These wins build the momentum necessary to achieve larger and more significant victories, and we must recognize them as such.
In 2023 alone there have been four in-custody deaths, and people locked inside the jail have had to resort to barricading themselves inside the jail library to demand that MCSO take action against the conditions they are forced to live in. Solutions to the problems inside the jail will not be easy, and regardless of how much more county supervisors fund the MCSO, without a system in place capable of holding the MCSO accountable, the deaths won’t stop, and the conditions will only worsen.
The timeline for the third-party audit remains unclear, but organizers will not be wasting any time waiting for it. The Milwaukee Alliance will continue mounting pressure at the county level to secure a civilian accountability council over the MCSO with the necessary power to hold them accountable, control their swollen budget, and improve the conditions inside the jail. The support of the Milwaukee community secured the third-party audit, and it will be that same support that builds to the victory that will be community control of the MCSO.