Prison guard abuse bill moves to verge of Assembly vote

MADISON — Wisconsin lawmakers have moved a bill that would force guards at Wisconsin's troubled youth prison to report abuse to the brink of passage in the state Assembly.

The state Senate approved the measure last month. The Assembly Committee on Children and Families unanimously approved the bill on Wednesday. The committee approval clears the way for a vote in the full Assembly. The full chamber isn't expected to reconvene until next month.

The FBI is investigating allegations of widespread abuse of juveniles at the prison near Irma. Inmates have filed two federal lawsuits challenging conditions at the prison and demanding improvements.

The bill would make juvenile prison guards mandatory child abuse reporters, a move that would protect them from being fired for reporting incidents.