Prison Warden, Multiple Staff Charged With Inmates Deaths

( – On June 4, authorities charged guards at the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin, accusing them of failing to deliver basic care for prisoners who died during their watch. During a press conference, lead investigator Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said that one of the prisoners died of a stroke and another one of dehydration under the watch of warden Randell Hepp and eight of his staffers.

When asked about the charges, Schmidt said that the eight staffers were charged with felony inmate abuse while Hepp was charged with public office misconduct. He also told reporters that the case proved that Wisconsin’s oldest prison was being operated in a “reckless” and “dangerous” manner that is putting the lives of prison guards and inmates at risk.

Some journalists said on social media that Hepp was facing up to three years in prison if convicted. They added that there were four deaths in total, with three of them being subject to federal lawsuits. Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections is currently investigating every single operation at the facility, with the state Democratic Governor, Tony Evers, claiming there have been continuous cases of contraband smuggling at the prison. He has even called the US Department of Justice to investigate the matter.

Last week, Hepp emailed prison staffers to announce his retirement by the end of the month. He even told them he was proud of his work, as he thinks he helped improve “order” and safety at Wisconsin’s oldest prison.

In a statement, the secretary of the US Department of Corrections, Jared Hoy, said that over 20 people are currently under investigation and detailed that nine others have already been fired as the investigation started in 2023. Hoy also asked Schmidt to keep his investigation open and share every single finding.

Schmidt responded that he could reopen the probe once it was finished in case the international investigation uncovered new evidence.

Copyright 2024,