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WISCONSIN CIRCUIT COURTS MAY IMPOSE NEW CONDITIONS OF SUPERVISION ON CRIMINAL OFFENDERS RE-RELEASED INTO THE COMMUNITY, WISCONSIN COURT OF APPEALS HOLDS

 

"Some criminal offenders just become more dangerous over time," says Van Hollen. "Combating domestic violence remains a top priority of my office. I am pleased by the court's decision and the protection it will offer to Wisconsin's citizens."

 

MADISON Wisconsin law permits circuit courts to sentence criminal offenders to prison terms, followed by extended supervision in the community. In a precedent-setting decision, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held today that a circuit court may impose new conditions of extended supervision on a criminal offender re-released into the community after his original supervision was revoked.

 

A Milwaukee County circuit court convicted Rodney O. Harris of substantial battery. Harris served a prison term and re-entered the community on extended supervision. He then violated the conditions of his extended supervision in several ways, including physical abuse of his female companion. Harris's extended supervision was revoked and he was returned to circuit court for a recommitment sentence. The court recommitted him to prison but provided for a second period of extended supervision. The circuit court ordered Harris not to have contact with his former companion as a new condition of supervision when he was released after serving the recommitment prison time.

 

The circuit court's authority to impose the new no-contact provision became the key issue in Harris's appeal. The court of appeals concluded that Wisconsin law permitted the circuit court to fashion new terms of extended supervision "to reflect new needs and new dangers."

 

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen praised the court of appeals's decision. "Some criminal offenders just become more dangerous over time," said Van Hollen. "Combating domestic violence remains a top priority of my office. I am pleased by the court's decision and the protection it will offer to Wisconsin's citizens."

 

Today's decision of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in State of Wisconsin v. Rodney O. Harris appears on the court's website:

 

http://www.wicourts.gov/ca/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=34700

 

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office litigated the case in the circuit court. Assistant Attorney General Warren D. Weinstein represented the State of Wisconsin in the court of appeals.