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

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Rubber gloves, a fingerprinting kit, and evidence bags all made it look like a serious crime happened in a room on the Nicolet College campus in Rhinelander on Thursday morning, but Kobe Gallion was pretty much just playing pretend.

"Yeah, it's fun," Gallion said of the investigative work.  "It's like a big puzzle, really, that's all."

The Crandon High School senior worked with classmates to take blood samples and lift fingerprints at Nicolet's "Crime Scene Investigation" station while competing against another school.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - People living in Eagle River could see a dog park sometime in the near future. 

"It'll take some work to get it done, but I think in the long run, once it's done it'll be very good for the community and it'll be very well used," said Ron Kressin, who's leading the project. 

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A Minocqua man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder from 1982. 

Robin Mendez was charged with homicide in February in the death of his wife. 

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A class of second graders at Crescent Elementary School in Rhinelander turned a lesson plan into a life lesson. The students helped provide clean water to villages in Africa after learning about pollution.

"They couldn't believe kids their age didn't have access to a faucet with running water," said Prom.

"A lot of people walk a lot of hours to get their water," said eight- year- old Ava Sadak.

The class decided to take action. They raised money for three weeks during their lunch break.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Earth Day can be a good time to reflect on the "health" of the world around you.

Nicolet College's Sustainability Fair focuses on all things green this weekend.

This year's theme is Sustainability where you would least expect to find it.

There will be about 40 booths at the fair ranging from gardeners to investment brokers…and even green funerals.

+ Read More

MADISON - The state Department of Justice will prosecute a Taylor County sheriff's detective for releasing records of two unsolved murders to producers of a national television show.

Sergeant Steven Bowers is accused of felony misconduct in public office.

Under the law, police records are public, but authorities often withhold them on grounds they could compromise an ongoing investigation.

+ Read More

Play Video

PRICE COUNTY - Price County blames 43 years of road salt for a high-traffic bridge starting to fall apart.

Corrosion has eaten away at the Highway H bridge over the Elk Lake Chain in Phillips, and work started Tuesday to replace an aging bridge deck.

Price County Highway Commissioner Don Grande often got calls about the condition of the bridge.

"I would say right now it's weekly," he estimated. "'Hey, when are you going to fix that bridge? What's going on with that bridge? Why does the bridge look so bad?'"

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here