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SVP Commitments: Conditions of Confinement: WRC Policy Prohibiting Former Employees From Visiting Institution

Reuben Adams v. Macht, 2001 WI App 10, 241 Wis. 2d 28, 623 N.W.2d 215

Issue: Whether the Wisconsin Resource Center policy prohibiting former employees from visiting the institution is enforceable against a patient seeking visits from a former employee who is also the mother of his child.

Holding: The policy is reasonable and based on legitimate security concerns.

The court pays lip service to the idea that 980 inmates are patients, not prisoners, but cases dealing with challenges to prison regulations are the first and only source of guidance sought by the court. Because review of prison regulations is so deferential, the outcome is predetermined. Visits from prior employees are counter-therapeutic, and the former employee’s knowledge of security protocols increases the danger of security breaches. Does it matter that the visitor is the mother of Adams’ child? Would that relationship inhibit the potential for danger? Would family visitation actually advance rehabilitation? No. The former employee blurred the appropriate boundaries between employees and inmates; she’s damaged goods; staff morale suffers from such fraternization. Besides, visitation would be contrary to policy.

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