Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Study: More want treatment instead of jail for non-violent drug users; Drug treatments courts on rise in Wisconsin Submitted: 04/04/2014
Story By Adam Fox

Study: More want treatment instead of jail for non-violent drug users; Drug treatments courts on rise in Wisconsin
CRANDON - A new Pew Research study conducted in February shows that a large majority of Americans support treatment for non-violent drug users instead of mandatory jail sentences.

67 percent of people surveyed believe the government and courts should focus on treatment for drug users.

Judges and prosecutors face a tough judgement and balance of figuring out the appropriate punishment for non-violent drug users in court.

Forest County Prosecutor Chuck Simono says he sees a remarkably high number of repeat offenders in the county even after spending time in jail.

"Just from what I've seen in Forest County over the last six years, I would put the recidivism rate in excess of 70 to 80 percent," Simono said.

Many Wisconsin communities are turning to drug treatment courts. It's a program with courts for non-violent drug users that combines treatment, sanctions, drug tests and care for when they've stopped using drugs.

Simono says the social movement has shifted to more of a focus on treatment to get people rehabilitated and back in the community. He seems more hopeful for people successfully going through a drug treatment program.

"They're going to return to the community, they're going to get a job, they're going to be productive," Simono said. "They're going to help contribute to a positive way of life rather than what we see when we just jail people."

Leaders in Forest County, including the Forest County Potawatomi, hope to form a treatment court to help users and cut costs.

"The cost to just continually jail individuals is just enormous," Simono said. "Unfortunately for some individuals that's going to be the only answer, others will find treatment successful."

Prosecutors, judges and social workers want to rehabilitate everyone, but sometimes even treatment isn't the answer. Simono says some people decline treatment for jail instead. Others repeatedly go through treatment without fully grasping the rehab.

"We have others that insist on treatment that have been five times already," Simono said. "They're still not adapting and utilizing the coping skills that they've been acquiring over all of their trips to treatment."

Leaders in Forest County hope to win a federal grant that would pay for the setup of the court.

The treatment court could be running as soon as this year if they win the grant, but the county and Forest County Potawatomi don't have the funding to start the court without federal help.

Wisconsin has around 50 drug treatment courts throughout the state.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

ADAMS COUNTY - 46-year-old Susan Hall, 46- year-old Michael Mathewson and 55-year-old Debra Phillips are suspects involved in hiding the body of Isaac Salinas. 

Salinas went missing around September 11th. 

Three were no obvious sign of trauma to Salinas' body. 
 
His death is suspected to be a result of a drug overdose.

 However, it has not been confirmed by a toxicology report. 

+ Read More

LAND O' LAKES - Plenty events celebrated the fall season in Land O' Lakes this weekend, but one of them was brand new to the area.

Land O' Lakes Arts hosted the first LOLA Art Harvest this year. The event on Saturday featured several local artists and a quilt show. People could even watch some of the artists demonstrate their craft.

+ Read More

TOMAHAWK - A 36- year-old woman was partially ejected from her car near Tomahawk.

The woman lost control of her car and rolled over into a ditch. 

There were no passengers in the car with her.

The woman was air lifted to a Wausau area hospital. 

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says her injuries don't appear to be life threatening.

+ Read More

PORTAGE COUNTY - A motorcycle rider died after a car crash in Portage County Saturday.

A car was trying to avoid another car pulling out of a drive way and slowed down causing the motorcycle rider to hit the back of the vehicle.

The motorcycle rider was pronounced dead on scene.

The other drivers had no injuries.

The incident is still under investigation.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - As technology advances, more kids turn to tablets and electronics rather than toys.

The toy industry isn't the only business changing.

Just last week major Toy Company Toys 'R' Us filed for bankruptcy.

The increasing reliance on technology has affected book stores too.

In recent years we have also seen major book stores close.

Watching the changes in bigger companies show local stores the direction consumers are moving.

Local book seller Kira Peters said it also helps smaller stores like Book World in downtown Rhinelander to move forward.

+ Read More

LAND O' LAKES - Even though it may not feel like it, Autumn has officially begun. Plenty of towns in the Northwoods celebrate the season with a colorama.

This weekend Land O Lakes is hosting its colorama. Land O Lakes has held a colorama for about 35 years.

+ Read More

Play Video

WESTON - About six months ago a family lost a loving father, husband and friend. 

Everest Metro Police Detective Jason Weiland died during a shooting that took the lives of four people in total. 

Saturday Weiland's family and friends came together to give back to the community that gave them so much support and helped them move forward during their time of need. 

"He was a person who loved to laugh, he had a nick name for everybody," said Weiland's longtime friend and organizer of Jay's Ride Josh Preiser. 

People who knew Weiland and even those who didn't, came out on Saturday to ride in his honor. 

"We had all this pent up energy we didn't, know what to do with it," said Preiser. 

Weiland's family and friends organized Jay's Ride.

 It's fundraiser for the Jason Weiland Criminal Justice Scholarship at Northcentral Technical College. 

"This is a testimony of Jason's daughters wanting to support the community after the community helped them," said Weiland's mentee and friend Matt Krembs. 

Even though Jason is no longer here, his wife of 14 years says seeing people come out months after the tragic event shows the support isn't going anywhere.

"It makes me hopeful for the future that we'll still have events like this and people will be there for us," said Weiland's wife Kara. 

A loving officer was lost, however his family and friends say the fundraiser will help inspire and lead to more officers like Weiland.  

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here