A security fence surrounds the entrance to the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for girls complex in rural Irma, Wis., in this file photo. (Dan Young / USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

Republican state lawmakers want to come down harder on kids in the criminal justice system. The Assembly Corrections Committee has approved two Republican bills that could send more kids to Wisconsin’s troubled Lincoln Hills Youth Prison for longer sentences.

Judges can currently sentence children who are 14 and older to Lincoln Hills, a youth prison located in northern Wisconsin, for up to three years for certain serious crimes.

One of the bills would expand the list of crimes to include all felonies while the other would eliminate the three-year limit. The Committee passed both bills on 6-2 votes Tuesday, setting up votes in the Assembly.

“My sympathy meter is broke – 15 shootings in the city of Milwaukee this weekend. C’mon, can we get some control? And the only way we’re going to get some control, Mr. Chair, is to get some of these dirtballs off the street,” said Rep. Bob Gannon (R-West Bend) during the committee hearing.

Lincoln Hills has been under criminal investigation by the FBI for the past two years for child abuse and neglect. Committee Democrats complained that the prison is flawed and the bills would place more kids there longer for lesser crimes.

Earlier this year, four inmates and their parents, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, filed a class-action federal lawsuit against state officials, alleging guards used pepper spray excessively and kept teens in solitary confinement for weeks or months at a time.