Rowdy crowd tries to 'derail' Dane County board meeting over jail plans

MADISON (WKOW) -- A plan to renovate the Dane County Jail will move forward, despite a raucous crowd's attempt to derail the board's meeting Monday night. 

A large group gathered in the meeting room gallery chanted for nearly an hour over supervisors' attempts to debate the 2018 budget, after the board voted down an amendment to "derail the jail" proposal. 

The plan is part of the 2018 budget, spending $76 million on renovations that consolidate jail facilities, reduce beds and add mental health care. 

"That antiquated jail is unsafe, contains asbestos and has an outdated technology that does not work and causes people to be trapped in their cells," said supervisor Maureen McCarville.

Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner had put forward an amendment to derail the jail plan, but it was voted down 32-4.

"This is a really big deal and I don't think the time is right to be investing this amount of money into a broken criminal justice system," she said.

Demonstrators also met outside the City County Building to share their message before the meeting.

 "I think that this is something that really animates people in this political climate knowing what the county board has said before about committing to really working to reduce mass incarceration," said Lynn Glueck, who attended the rally.

The 2018 budget ultimately passed, as the board members tried to speak to each other over the demonstrators' chants.

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