2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
May 1, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Hutton, E. Brooks, R. Brooks,
Kitchens, Kooyenga, Kremer, Sanfelippo, Spiros and Thiesfeldt,
cosponsored by Senators Wanggaard and Olsen. Referred to Committee on
1An Act to renumber and amend
157.02 (1); to amend
157.02 (2), 157.02 (5), 2
301.325, 302.14, 973.20 (11) (c) and 979.10 (1) (a) (intro.); and
(1) (a) and 157.02 (1) (b) 2. of the statutes; relating to: burial or cremation and
4burial of a deceased prison inmate, cremation of an unclaimed corpse, and
5prohibition on cremation of an unclaimed corpse in cases of homicide.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill changes procedures relating to burial or cremation and burial of a
deceased prison inmate and cremation of an unclaimed corpse. Under the bill, the
Department of Corrections must provide written notification to a deceased inmate's
relative informing him or her that DOC will, upon request, provide a copy of any
autopsy report or other report regarding the inmate's death and allow the relative
to claim the cremated remains of the inmate before the remains are buried. With
certain exceptions, the bill allows the superintendent of an institution or other public
officer to cremate and bury an unclaimed corpse. The bill prohibits cremation of an
unclaimed corpse if the deceased person died as a result of homicide.
The bill also adds an express allowance for DOC to charge a prisoner's estate
for some or all of the costs to the department of the prisoner's incarceration or burial
or cremation and burial. Under the bill, if an inmate in a state prison has not paid
court-ordered restitution at the time of his or her death, DOC is required to assess,
collect, and disburse the amount owed from the inmate's wages or other moneys.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
157.02 (1) of the statutes is renumbered 157.02 (1) (am) and 2
amended to read:
(am) When an inmate of any state, county or municipal institution 4
dies, the superintendent or other person in charge of the institution shall 5
immediately notify a relative of the decedent. A public officer having the possession 6
or the disposition of a corpse shall immediately notify a relative of the decedent. If 7
no relative is known, or discoverable by use of ordinary diligence, notice may be 8
dispensed with. In addition, if
the deceased had been an inmate of a state correctional institution, the 10
department of corrections shall provide written notification to the relative informing 11
him or her that the department of corrections, upon request, will
provide do any or
12all of the following:
a copy of any autopsy report or other report or information 14
pertaining to the death.
The department of corrections shall describe how the request requests 16under par. (b)
may be made and shall promptly comply with any such request.
157.02 (1) (a) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) In this section, “burial" has the meaning given in s. 157.061 (1).
157.02 (1) (b) 2. of the statutes is created to read:
(b) 2. Allow the relative to claim the cremated remains of the inmate 21
before burial of the remains.
157.02 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
157.02 (2) Time allowed relative to act.
If a relative or friend fails to arrange 3
for taking charge of the corpse within a reasonable time after death, the 4
superintendent or other officer may proceed as provided in this section, but relatives 5
or friends may claim the corpse at any time before it has been delivered pursuant to 6
sub. (3) or, if a request is made under sub. (1) (b) 2., after it has been cremated but
7before burial of the cremated remains under sub. (5)
157.02 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
157.02 (5) Other disposition.
If the corpse is not disposed of under subs. (1) 10
to (4), the superintendent or public officer shall properly bury it
, or cremate it, subject
11to s. 979.10, and bury the cremated remains
301.325 of the statutes is amended to read:
13301.325 Prisoner reimbursement to the state.
The department may 14
charge a prisoner or a prisoner's estate
for some or all of the costs to the department 15
of the prisoner's incarceration or burial or cremation and burial under s. 157.02 (5)
The department may collect from the inmate or his or her estate
during his or her 17
incarceration or after his or her release or death,
or both. If the prisoner has paid
18all victim restitution ordered under s. 973.20 or if the department has collected
19victim restitution pursuant to s. 973.20 (11) (c), the department may use any
20remaining money held for a prisoner under s. 301.32 (1) to pay for some or all of the
21costs to the department for the prisoner's burial or cremation and burial under s.
Upon the request of the department, the attorney general may bring a 23
civil action to recover costs under this section that the department has been unable 24
to collect. The department may not recover under this section for any costs already 25
recovered as otherwise provided in chs. 301 to 303. The department shall promulgate
rules providing a method of charging under this section that is based on a prisoner's 2
ability to pay and providing procedures for collection of the costs.
302.14 of the statutes is amended to read:
4302.14 Property of deceased inmates, parolees, probationers or
5persons on extended supervision, disposition.
When an inmate of a prison, a 6
parolee of an institution, a person on extended supervision or a person on probation 7
to the department dies leaving an estate, after paying all costs and obligations under
8ss. 301.32 and 301.325,
of $150 or less in the trust of the warden, superintendent or 9
secretary, the warden, superintendent or secretary shall try to determine whether 10
or not the estate is to be probated. If probate proceedings are not commenced within 11
90 days, the warden, superintendent or secretary shall turn over the money or 12
securities to the nearest of kin as evidenced by the records of the institution and the 13
973.20 (11) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) If a defendant who is in a state prison or who is sentenced to a 16
state prison is ordered to pay restitution, the court order shall require the defendant 17
to authorize the department to collect, from the defendant's wages and from other 18
moneys held in the defendant's prisoner's account, an amount or a percentage the 19
department determines is reasonable for payment to victims. If an inmate in a state
20prison or a person sentenced to a state prison has not paid, at the time of his or her
21death, restitution ordered under this section, the department shall assess, collect,
22and disburse the amount owed from the inmate's wages or other moneys.
979.10 (1) (a) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) (intro.) No person may cremate the corpse of a deceased person 25
within 48 hours after the death, or the discovery of the death, of the deceased person
unless the death was caused by a contagious or infectious disease. Notwithstanding
2s. 979.09, no person may cremate an unclaimed corpse if the deceased person died
3as the result of homicide.
No person may cremate a corpse unless the person has 4
received a cremation permit from: