The more we find out about the conditions at Wisconsin’s prisons, the worse the scandal becomes. The Legislature has begun to ramp up their oversight. This story has many layers and is far from over.

But no, that’s not the subject of the picture, above. More on that at the end of today’s Key Reads.

We’re also keeping an eye on Milwaukee as politicos from around the nation and journalists from around the globe begin to congregate in advance of next week’s long-anticipated RNC convention. Let’s dive right in.

The revolutionaries and socialists who plan on marching on the RNC next week in Milwaukee have lost their court fight. However, they vow to march within the ‘soft’ security zone and not utilize the designated protest areas. It could create a conflict for which organizers have prepared, and raised bail money.

Judge rules against protesters in fight over RNC security zone | WISN

A federal judge has ruled against allowing protesters to march through the Republican National Convention security zones.

…In a news conference Tuesday, the group says it plans to march its own route, avoiding the Secret Service “hard” security zone, but they do plan to march inside the “soft” zone Monday. The protest will start Monday at 10 a.m..

The group says it does not plan to use either one of the city’s designated protest areas, saying they are not safe in those areas.

With inmate deaths and dangerous conditions for employees plaguing the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the Legislature is stepping up their oversight of the executive branch agency.

Oversight, accountability sought in prison system | The Center Square

Through tears, people with loved ones inside Wisconsin’s prisons told horror stories, and begged lawmakers for help at the Wisconsin Capitol on Tuesday.

The Assembly Committee on Corrections held a hearing seeking answers about a string of recent inmate deaths, to find out more about the former warden at the prison in Waupun, and the eight others who were charged last month in two of those inmate deaths.

But the most powerful testimony came from advocates and family members who said there need to be sweeping changes. Former Secretary Kevin Carr, who retired earlier this year, and Govs. Tony Evers and Scott Walker were names mentioned for fault.

“They keep asking who is watching Secretary Carr. The answer is the governor,” Rep Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, told The Center Square. “Governor Evers is the Executive Branch, the daily chief of day-to-day operations of this state. He hires and fires the administrators of these agencies. This is an issue we have dealt with since Governor Walker, who took lots of heat. Where is the governor in this process, why isn’t he part of building a solution?”

Rebecca Aubart with the Ladies of SCI told lawmakers that Wisconsin needs an ombudsman for the families and advocates to handle complaints and concerns.

“We are begging you guys to work together,” Aubart tearfully said. “One side cannot fix it. Everybody has to work together. We need an ombuds, we need some accountability and oversight that is not coming from the DOC or coming from the governor’s office. It needs to be independent.”

Aubart said Minnesota has an ombudsman that has made the prisons there “incrementally better.” She it is the model that other states use in comparison.

Corrections officials on Tuesday said their staffing crisis is to blame for most of the problems. Aubart said that’s only part of the problem.

“We definitely have a staffing crisis but we have a population crisis,” she added.

Aubart said each facility is overpopulated even by the department’s standards “by several hundred people.”

Carr retired from the Department of Corrections in March, just a few months before the arrests and charges at the prison in Waupun. He was succeeded by acting-Secretary Jared Hoy in May.

The failed recall of Robin Vos has failed again. The would be recallers, having failed twice to obtain enough signatures to trigger a recall of the Racine County Republican, were dealt a blow in Circuit Court on Tuesday. But, of course, the aggrieved have vowed to press on. They will appeal the Court’s denial of their appeal of the WEC ruling.

Wisconsin judge rejects attempt to revive recall targeting top GOP lawmaker | The Associated Press

 A judge on Tuesday rejected an attempt to revive the recall effort targeting the longest-serving Wisconsin Assembly speaker in state history, saying signatures were wrongly collected under legislative boundary lines now barred from use in any election.

…Recall organizers had argued that the elections commission should have accepted signatures that were collected after a 60-day petition circulation deadline had passed, but before the deadline to submit the petitions.

But Ehlke didn’t even address that issue…

“Simply put, this court will not command WEC to do what the Wisconsin Supreme Court forbids,” Ehlke wrote referring to the elections commission.

The need certainly exists. Let’s hope this helps.

Regional mental health centers now open across Wisconsin | WPR

Five regional crisis stabilization facilities are now open in Wisconsin, a step professionals hope will change the way people with a mental health or substance abuse issue get care.

The centers in Waukesha, Beaver Dam, Madison, La Crosse and Wausau are designed to be a short-term stay for someone in crisis.

The state Legislature approved the idea last year, and the state Department of Health Services granted $10 million of the state’s federal COVID relief funds to help pay for the facilities.

…In the past, people suffering from a mental health or substance abuse crisis were often taken by police to one facility in the state, the Winnebago Mental Health Institute near Oshkosh. Now, family or friends can call a county crisis line, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or 911 if they need help and be referred to the regional crisis facility for support.

In these times with rising inflation, we’re proud that we deliver your Key Reads for free, every weekday. For those of you who are sitting on some extra cash however, feel free to make an offer on Wisconsin’s Flintstone Mansion.

It’s one of the most viral properties ever on Zillow.

Who knew?

That’s all until tomorrow….