This bill creates a Prison Mortality and Morbidity Board composed of 12
members attached to DOC. The Prison Mortality and Morbidity Board will have the
authority to investigate the death of an inmate in a state correctional institution.
Under the bill, within 72 hours after the death of an inmate, DOC must notify each
member of the Prison Mortality and Morbidity Board of the death, and provide them
with all of the information available to DOC regarding the death.
Under the bill, DOC is required to provide any assistance the Prison Mortality
and Morbidity Board needs to investigate the death, including providing the board
with the inmate's prison records, information obtained as the result of any internal
investigation of the death, and any medical records of the inmate in DOC's custody.
The bill allows the board to review any medical records of the inmate; information
related to the death in the custody of a law enforcement agency, district attorney, or
attorney general; and information obtained by the coroner or medical examiner
regarding the death. The bill allows the board to ask a court to subpoena documents
related to the death, to order an autopsy, and to request the district attorney or court
to order an inquest into the inmate's death.
The bill requires the Prison Mortality and Morbidity Board to issue a report of
the board's investigation and submit that report to the district attorney, if
appropriate, to a relative of the deceased inmate, to the speaker of the assembly and
president of the senate, or their designees, to members of the appropriate standing
committees of the senate and assembly, and to the secretary of DOC. The bill
authorizes the board to make recommendations to DOC regarding medical and other
prison procedures, and to make recommendations regarding possible disciplinary
action against DOC staff. If the board determines during its investigation of an
inmate's death that a medical provider failed to provide proper and necessary
medical care, the board is required under the bill to prepare and forward a complaint
to the appropriate credentialing board.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB152, s. 1
15.07 (1) (b) 23. of the statutes is created to read:
(b) 23. The members of the prison mortality and morbidity board 3
appointed under s. 15.145 (4).
AB152, s. 2
15.07 (3) (bm) 5. of the statutes is created to read:
(bm) 5. The prison mortality and morbidity board shall meet at least 2
4 times each year and may meet at other times on the call of the chairperson or a 3
majority of the board's members.
AB152, s. 3
15.145 (4) of the statutes is created to read:
15.145 (4) Prison mortality and morbidity board.
There is created in the 6
department of corrections a prison mortality and morbidity board consisting of 12 7
members appointed for 2-year terms. Eight of the members shall be appointed by 8
the governor and shall include 2 representatives from the University of Wisconsin 9
Hospitals and Clinics Authority, 2 representatives from the Medical College of 10
Wisconsin, one physician from a health care provider other than the University of 11
Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority or the Medical College of Wisconsin, one 12
nurse employed by a state agency, one nurse employed by a private health 13
maintenance organization or preferred provider plan, and one member who does not 14
represent any of the foregoing entities. The other 4 members of the board shall be 15
appointed by the secretary of corrections and shall be a warden of a state correctional 16
facility, a manager of a unit within a state correctional facility that provides the 17
health services to inmates, a registered nurse from a correctional institution, and a 18
correctional officer. At least one member of the board shall be a physician who is 19
certified and licensed as a forensics pathologist by the American Board of Pathology.
AB152, s. 4
146.82 (2) (a) 22. of the statutes is created to read:
(a) 22. To the prison mortality and morbidity board to enable that 22
board to investigate the death of an inmate under s. 979.15.
AB152, s. 5
758.19 (5) (a) 5. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 5. Fees for witnesses or expert witnesses subpoenaed by the court 2
at the request of the district attorney, coroner, prison mortality and morbidity board, 3
or medical examiner under s. 979.06 (1) and (2).
AB152, s. 6
979.015 of the statutes is amended to read:
5979.015 Subpoena for documents.
Upon the request of the coroner, medical 6
examiner, prison mortality and morbidity board,
or district attorney, a court shall 7
issue a subpoena requiring the production of documents necessary for the 8
determination of a decedent's cause of death. The documents may include the 9
decedent's patient health care records and treatment records, as defined in ss. 51.30 10
and 146.81 (4). The documents shall be returnable to the officer named in the 11
AB152, s. 7
979.02 of the statutes is amended to read:
The coroner, medical examiner, prison mortality and
or district attorney may order the conducting of an autopsy upon 15
the body of a dead person any place within the state in cases where an inquest might 16
be had as provided in s. 979.04 notwithstanding the fact that no such inquest is 17
ordered or conducted. The autopsy shall be conducted by a licensed physician who 18
has specialized training in pathology. The district attorney may move the circuit 19
court for the county in which the body is buried for an order disinterring the body for 20
purposes of autopsy. The order shall be granted by the circuit court upon a 21
reasonable showing that any of the criteria specified in s. 979.04 exists. This section 22
does not prevent additional autopsies or examinations of the body if there are 23
unanswered pathological questions concerning the death and the causes of death.
AB152, s. 8
979.04 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
If the coroner or medical examiner has knowledge of the death of any 2
person in the manner described under sub. (1), he or she shall immediately notify the 3
district attorney. If the prison mortality and morbidity board has knowledge of the
4death of any person in the manner described under sub. (1), the board shall
5immediately notify the district attorney.
The notification shall include information 6
concerning the circumstances surrounding the death. The coroner, prison mortality
7and morbidity board,
or medical examiner may request the district attorney to order 8
an inquest under sub. (1). If the district attorney refuses to order the inquest, a 9
coroner, the prison mortality and morbidity board,
medical examiner may 10
petition the circuit court to order an inquest. The court may issue the order if it finds 11
that the district attorney has abused his or her discretion in not ordering an inquest.
AB152, s. 9
979.06 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
The judge or circuit court commissioner may issue subpoenas for 14
witnesses at the request of the coroner, prison mortality and morbidity board,
medical examiner and shall issue subpoenas for witnesses requested by the district 16
attorney. Subpoenas are returnable at the time and place stated therein in the
. Persons who are served with a subpoena may be compelled to attend 18
proceedings in the manner provided in s. 885.12.
AB152, s. 10
979.10 (1) (a) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 2. The coroner or medical examiner in the county where the event 21
which caused the death occurred if the death occurred in this state and if the death 22
is the subject of an investigation under s. 979.01 or 979.15
AB152, s. 11
979.15 of the statutes is created to read:
24979.15 Investigation of a prison inmate's death. (1)
The prison mortality 25
and morbidity board shall investigate the death of every individual who dies while
he or she is an inmate in a state correctional institution, as defined in s. 301.01 (4). 2
To facilitate the investigation, the board shall have access to all medical and prison 3
records related to the deceased inmate.
Within 72 hours after the death of an inmate in a state correctional 5
institution, the secretary of corrections shall notify every member of the prison 6
mortality and morbidity board of the death. The secretary shall provide the board 7
members with all of the information available to the department directly related to 8
the inmate's death, including the date, time, location, and cause of death. The 9
secretary shall provide the board with the inmate's prison records, information 10
obtained as the result of any internal investigation of the death, and any medical 11
records of the inmate that are in the custody of the department. The department 12
shall cooperate with the board and provide any assistance the board requests while 13
investigating the death of the inmate. The board, while performing its duties, may 14
review medical records of the inmate in the custody of any medical provider; 15
information related to the death in the custody of a law enforcement agency, district 16
attorney, or the attorney general; information obtained by the coroner or medical 17
examiner regarding the death of the inmate; and any information collected as the 18
result of an autopsy ordered under s. 979.02 or an inquest ordered under s. 979.04. 19
The board may interview department and law enforcement staff and subpoena 20
witnesses and documents as part of its investigation.
The prison mortality and morbidity board shall prepare a report of the 22
board's investigation of an inmate's death and submit that report to all of the 23
(a) The appropriate relative of the deceased.
(b) The secretary of corrections.
(c) If appropriate, the district attorney.
(d) The speaker of the assembly and the president of the senate, or their 3
(e) Each member of the appropriate standing committee of the assembly and 5
senate, as provided under s. 13.172 (3).
The prison mortality and morbidity board may make recommendations to 7
the department regarding medical and other prison procedures, based on the board's 8
investigation of an inmate's death. The board may also make recommendations to 9
the department regarding possible disciplinary action against staff who did not 10
follow departmental policies or procedures related to the circumstances surrounding 11
the death of an inmate.
The prison mortality and morbidity board shall prepare and forward a 13
complaint to the appropriate credentialing board, as defined in s. 440.01 (2) (bm), if, 14
during the board's investigation of an inmate's death, the board determines that a 15
medical provider failed to provide proper and necessary medical care to a prison 16