Skip to content

What Prison Will Domestic Abuser Brooks Go To?

The sentencing of domestic abuser Darrell Brooks Jr. for driving his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 2021, killing 6 people and injuring dozens, has sparked much discussion around what prison he will serve his life sentences in. Brooks was convicted on all 76 charges against him, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. This was an extremely high-profile case that shocked the nation, and many are curious where Brooks will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Brooks’ Convictions and Sentencing

On November 21, 2021, Brooks drove his Ford Escape through police barricades and into the Waukesha Christmas Parade, striking and killing 6 people while injuring at least 62 others, including many children. His vehicle struck marchers, dancers, musicians, and others participating in the beloved local parade.

Brooks was arrested and charged with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 other charges. The counts included multiple charges of reckless endangerment, hit-and-run involving death, bail jumping, and battery.

On October 26, 2022, after a month-long trial, the jury found Brooks guilty on all 76 charges. On November 16, 2022, Brooks was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, effectively ensuring he will die in prison. The judge gave him an additional 762 years in prison to be served consecutively. This sentence ensured the maximum punishment allowed under Wisconsin state law.

Factors That Determine Where Prisoners Serve Their Sentences

Several factors determine where convicted prisoners will serve their sentences:

  • Severity of the crime – More dangerous and high-profile criminals typically go to higher security federal or state prisons. Low-level state offenders may go to county jails.
  • Length of sentence – Inmates serving longer sentences are often sent to state or federal prisons, while those with shorter sentences may be held in county jails. Life sentences typically go to state prisons.
  • Security level – Higher security prisons house more dangerous inmates with longer sentences. Maximum security prisons have more guards, barriers, solitary cells and lockdowns.
  • Space availability – Prison population capacity can dictate where inmates are sent. Transportation costs are also considered.
  • Special designations – Some prisons are designated for certain types of inmates, like those requiring medical or mental health treatment.
  • Assigned custody level – State departments of corrections assign custody levels (minimum, medium or maximum) based on the inmate’s crime, sentence length, behavior and escape risk.
  • Gender – Most state and federal prisons are gender-specific. Some states have special women’s prisons.
  • Proximity to home – Some states aim to place inmates in prisons close to their families when possible. But high-profile cases may go elsewhere.
See also  Is Patrizia Gucci Still in Prison?

So severity of crime, sentence length, security level, available space, special facility designations, custody level, gender and proximity to home are the main factors determining where prisoners will be incarcerated after sentencing.

What Type of Prison Will Brooks Be Sent To?

With his unprecedented life sentence for first-degree intentional homicide, Darrell Brooks will almost certainly serve his sentence in a maximum security state prison facility.

After conviction in Wisconsin, the Department of Corrections (DOC) will complete an assessment to classify Brooks’ security risk level and determine the most appropriate facility to meet his custody needs. But given the severity of his crimes and life sentence, he will require incarceration in a maximum security prison.

Wisconsin has several state-run maximum security correctional institutions that house inmates like Brooks with long sentences for violent crimes:

  • Waupun Correctional Institution – Wisconsin’s primary maximum security facility. It houses over 1,200 inmates with long sentences for serious crimes. Known for its rigid discipline and security.
  • Green Bay Correctional Institution – Maximum security prison with capacity for over 1,000 inmates. Has restrictive housing units and extensive locking systems.
  • Columbia Correctional Institution – Another maximum security facility with notoriously harsh conditions. Houses over 1,000 inmates.
  • Dodge Correctional Institution – Maximum security site that specializes in protective custody for high-risk and ‘famous’ inmates.

Brooks may be sent to one of these four facilities due to his high-profile crimes, security risk and need for protective custody from other inmates. Waupun is most likely given its enhanced maximum security designation. But DOC assessments of security risk, medical needs and available capacity will determine his ultimate placement.

See also  Is Alex Belfield in Prison? Examining the YouTuber's Stalking Conviction and Sentencing

What Will Conditions be Like For Brooks in Maximum Security Prison?

As an extremely high-profile prisoner sentenced to multiple lifetimes in prison, Darrell Brooks will likely be subjected to some of the harshest conditions in the Wisconsin prison system.

Life in maximum security prisons generally involves:

  • Cell confinement – Inmates spend almost all time locked in small solitary cells with a bed, toilet and sink. Cells are typically 6 x 8 feet or 8 x 10 feet. Many facilities have “supermax” solitary confinement units.
  • Regimented schedule – Strict daily schedules dictate times for meals, medication, yard time (1-2 hours), visitors, programs, work duties, searches, counts etc. All movement is escorted.
  • Limited amenities – No-frills cells have concrete or brick walls, steel doors/bars, high security locks and surveillance cameras. Personal amenities are extremely limited.
  • Security protocols – Intense security features like double perimeter fencing, detection systems, restricted movement with escorts, frequent searches and isolation.
  • Violence – The potential for violence is high. Guards in protective gear carry weapons. Inmate-on-inmate assaults and attempts to harm guards occur.
  • Isolation – Social interaction is rare. Visits and calls are limited. Some prisoners experience sensory and social deprivation. Mental health issues are common.
  • Regimented routines – Strict, repetitive daily routines are imposed. Inmates have very little autonomy.

For Brooks, these sterile and isolating conditions will likely be amplified due to his high profile and protective custody status. He may spend nearly 24 hours a day confined to his cell due to security risks. Contact with other inmates, programs, work duties and amenities will likely be extremely limited as well. It will be an existence marked by strict routine, isolation and harsh discipline until his death.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do most life sentence prisoners serve their sentences?

Most prisoners sentenced to life in prison serve their sentences in maximum security state prisons. These facilities have the highest security to house inmates convicted of the most serious violent crimes like murder, rape and kidnapping. State prisons with maximum security units typically house the majority of lifers.

What amenities or freedoms do lifers have in prison?

Lifers in maximum security prisons have very few amenities or freedoms. They live in solitary cells and are afforded little recreational time, programming or human contact. Family visits and phone privileges are limited. Lifers may be allowed restricted access to exercise yards, basic canteen items, library books, commissary and mandated medical treatment. But their existence is bleak and highly controlled.

See also  Why is Suge Knight in Prison?

Do lifers usually spend the entire sentence in one prison?

Lifers typically spend many years housed in the same maximum security facility where they are first incarcerated after sentencing. But they may be transferred between state prisons during their sentences if security classifications change. Medical needs, capacity issues, disciplinary infractions or participation in unique programs can also require prison transfers.

Can someone with a life sentence ever get parole?

It depends on the laws and sentence for their specific crimes. Some “life sentences” are not for the entirety of a person’s life. After a minimum time served (i.e. 15 years), some lifers are eligible for parole. Sex offenders may face “civil commitment” after prison time. But for those who commit the most heinous murders, true “life without parole” means they will die in prison with no chance of release.

What are conditions like in maximum security prisons?

Maximum security prisons impose the most intense security measures and restrictions. Inmates are confined to small, Spartan cells for most of the day. Movement is highly restricted with escorts. Regiments control all aspects of daily life. Amenities and programming are limited. Potential for violence is high. Maximum security prisons aim to severely limit freedoms and isolate prisoners from society.


Darrell Brooks faces spending the remainder of his lifetime confined under extremely harsh conditions in a maximum security Wisconsin state prison. His unprecedented sentence of six consecutive life terms for intentional homicide means he will die behind bars. While the Department of Corrections will finalize his prison placement, he almost certainly faces incarceration at one of Wisconsin’s toughest maximum security penitentiaries like Waupun. For this high-profile criminal, this will mean a grim existence of isolation, strict routine and intense security with extremely limited freedoms or amenities until his death. Brooks’ sentencing has provided some closure, but his crimes still haunt many. At least the survivors and victims’ families now know he will live out his days in a maximum security prison, paying the price for his horrific actions.

Share this post on social

About us

We are dedicated to exploring the intricacies of prison life and justice reform through firsthand experiences and expert insights.

See also  Can Prisoners Attend Funerals in the UK? Rights, Rules and Procedures

Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

See also  Where is HMP Woodhill? Exploring the Notorious Prison's History and Status