Sheriff Clarke relinquishes control of HOC to superintendent

FRANKLIN (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Correctional Facility - South has become the House of Correction once again. Late Monday night, May 6th Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke relinquished command of the complex to a County Board appointed superintendent. That man spoke exclusively with FOX6 News on his first full day on the job.

Michael Hafemann says it was a busy first day for the new head of the House of Correction. He says most of the day was spent meeting with his new staff -- and says there are already changes planned for the HOC.

Tuesday was Hafemann's first day on the job -- despite him being hired back in March. It is a transition that had been blocked by Sheriff Clarke. However, Sheriff Clarke showed signs of giving up his fight for the HOC this weekend, as nearly 800 inmates were moved between the HOC and the County Jail.

"I think a lot of the inmates who were sent here were probably inmates who were going to end up here anyway. I mean, the whole idea, once this became back as a House of Correction under a superintendent, the intent was to house inmates here who are sentenced to a term in the House of Correction," Hafemann said.

Hafemann, who has spent more than 30 years working in corrections, wasted no time diving in. Several small changes have already taken place -- including the elimination of Nutraloaf -- a type of prison food used to punish inmates.

"Philosophically I don't think it's necessary. I mean, if there was a case where an inmate can't get a food tray because of behavior, we'll deal with that with what we call a bagged lunch. They'll get a sandwich and fruit and that's what they'll be eating and if they misuse the bag then we'll just hand the sandwich to them on a napkin," Hafemann said.

Additionally, Hafemann is working on two big readjustments. The first being restoring a number of beneficial programs for inmates.

"There's nothing wrong with having inmates here, giving them the opportunity to get their GED or to attend an anger management session -- programs that have been proven to work.  It's what we call evidenced-based," Hafemann said.

The other involves bringing back electronic monitoring.

"The other thing we're looking at and probably as early as next week is if those inmates qualify for electronic monitoring, putting them on electronic monitoring," Hafemann said.

Hafemann doesn't have an exact number that will be let out on electronic monitoring. He says those that meet stringent qualifications will be granted that kind of supervision.