Wisconsin youth prison staff member is declared brain-dead after inmate assault

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A staff member at Wisconsin’s youth prison has been declared brain-dead following a fight with an inmate, the county coroner said Wednesday.

The man was declared brain-dead Tuesday so the family can proceed with organ donation, Lincoln County Coroner Valerie Caylor said.

The man was injured during a fight Monday night at Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake Schools, the state’s youth prison in Irma in northern Wisconsin. Department of Corrections spokesperson Beth Hardtke said a 16-year-old inmate assaulted a staff member in a residence hall and then attacked a second staff member.

The first staff member was taken to a hospital, treated and released. The second staff member’s head struck concrete.

The inmate did not suffer any injuries that required medical treatment, Hardtke said.

The assault was under investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office.

More information was to be released later Wednesday by the sheriff’s department, Caylor said.

Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake is Wisconsin’s only youth prison. The facility has been plagued by allegations of staff-on-inmate abuse, including excessive use of pepper spray, restraints and strip searches. A court-appointed monitor is currently overseeing the facility.