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


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

OAKLAND, CALI. - The Latest on a deadly fire in a converted warehouse in Oakland, California (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a statement of condolences after a deadly fire in Oakland, Calif. left at least nine people dead.

Brown says in a statement that he and his wife, Anne, were saddened to hear about the deadly blaze.

In the statement Saturday he said: "Our thoughts are with the entire city in this difficult time and we extend our condolences to the family and friends of those lost."

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a separate statement calling the fire "an immense tragedy."

Authorities say they fear up to 40 people might have died in the fire at a warehouse converted into artist studios that was hosting an electronic dance party.

Rescue crews were combing through wreckage and still trying to access parts of the warehouse mid-day Saturday.

+ Read More

HARRISBURG, PA. - The Green Party is dropping its court case seeking a statewide recount of Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 presidential election. It had wanted to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Pets add laughter, joy and tons of entertainment to the families they join. 

If those pets go missing it's an experience no family wants to go through. 

One woman in Wausau is making a difference for the pets and families in her community.

"I wanted to be the voice for the animals, because there aren't that many people that are like that out there," said Wausau Human Officer Ashlee Bishop.

Bishop started making a difference when she began working at the humane society when she was just fifteen years old. 

Last year she started the pet vaccine and micro-chipping event, to make sure animals in her hometown were healthy and safe.

"I have so many people that are thankful because their animals are home for the holidays," said Bishop.

The Humane Society says that one in three pets will get lost during its lifetime.

 The $10 microchips provided at the event increase the chances of lost pets being brought home.

+ Read More

MADISON - The presidential recount vote underway in Wisconsin is costing millions of dollars, diverting county workers from their normal end-of-year duties and raising questions about the integrity of the vote.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Two women are charged in the death of a 7-year-old boy who was starved, burned with cigarettes, beaten and whipped.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Temperatures dropping and more snow falling means more snow on our cars and streets. 

Cities all over the Northwoods want to make sure your cars and the roads stay safe with each snowfall by instituting winter parking regulations. 

The regulations in the City of Rhinelander include odd and even street parking to make it easier for clearing roads.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHCENTRAL WI. - Three northcentral Wisconsin police departments need help identifying suspects in the recent skimming of credit cards from local ATMs at banks.

Marshfield, Rhinelander, and Tomahawk police departments are working together to catch the skimming suspects.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here