Loading

59°F

60°F

59°F

60°F

57°F

61°F

59°F

63°F

57°F

59°F

63°F

59°F
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

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


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

LINCOLN COUNTY - Imagine cleaning out an old garage and finding a hand grenade.

It happened in Lincoln County.

A call came in to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

+ Read More

PARK FALLS - A man carrying a loaded rifle startled people watching during the Park Falls fireworks display Saturday night.

Several people called police around 10 p.m. reporting a man carrying a gun around the baseball field where the show took place.  When police arrived the man wasn't there.

Officers found 38-year-old Jason L. Straetz sitting outside a nearby apartment building.

+ Read More

MERRILL - Some people think firefighters only battle flames in heavy gear and drive around bulky trucks.

The Merrill Fire Department wants to show people what else the job is about. Merrill will host its first Citizens Fire Academy this fall.

+ Read More

ANTIGO - Setting off illegal fireworks can put wildlife in the Northwoods at risk. The Raptor Education Group in Antigo took in many animals this past weekend, including a bald eagle hit by a firework.

"The symbol of America shouldn't look [this hurt] the day after the Fourth of July," says Marge Gibson, the executive director of Raptor Education Group.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - After all the Fourth of July events Saturday, hungry people were able to stop at the Oneida County Senior Center's fundraiser for a bite to eat.

The senior center sold walking tacos, drinks, and desserts for people to eat in or take out. It was the second year the center held the event.

+ Read More

WOODRUFF - Northwoods emergency rooms needed extra help over the Fourth of July holiday.

Patient numbers went up about 30 percent over an average summer weekend at area Ministry Medical Group hospitals.

Ministry's four area hospitals all saw more patients than normal.  Between Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, St. Mary's in Rhinelander, Eagle River Memorial and Sacred Heart in Tomahawk, doctors treated 623 patients in the ER.  Howard Young Medical Center treated 222 patients alone.

That meant boosting staffing and keeping three doctors on duty at all times.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office says it has investigated 16 probable heroin-related deaths in the past week.

Twelve of the deaths occurred in Milwaukee County, and four happened in neighboring counties. A final cause of death for each case is pending further toxicology results.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here