Loading

54°F

52°F

57°F

54°F

57°F

54°F

55°F

56°F

57°F
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

Play Video

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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/01/2014

- Four Wisconsin State Assembly candidates will debate in Wausau tonight. The two Democrats and Republicans will argue about topics like jobs, healthcare and the direction of the area. We'll have a preview of the debate tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Cranberry Fest draws about 40,000 people to Eagle River each year. Organizers think this year will be no exception. They started preparing for this weekend's festival today. Find out more tonight on Newswatch 12.

- The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will perform tonight in Rhinelander. We caught them earlier today at a special concert for students in Rhinelander. Hear what brought them here and how you can go to their concert tonight.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More
Walker slightly ahead of Burke in new pollSubmitted: 10/01/2014

MADISON - With less than five weeks until Election Day, a new poll shows Gov. Scott Walker is slightly ahead of Democrat Mary Burke in the race for Wisconsin governor.

The Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows Walker with 50.5 percent support among likely voters compared with 44.7 percent for Burke.

That 5.8-point lead is just above the poll's 4.5 percentage point margin of error.

+ Read More
Tour and workshop to help businesses draw more customers to Northwoods Submitted: 10/01/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The beautiful scenery, resorts, and other attractions draw many tourists to the Northwoods.

Local businesses want to keep it that way.

While the summer season wrapped up a month ago, some businesses are already thinking about next summer.

+ Read More
DNR begins Little Rice dam repairs, some homeowners unhappy about water levelsSubmitted: 10/01/2014

CRANDON - The Wisconsin DNR will start repairing the Little Rice dam this month.

But in order to do their work, the agency will have to lower water levels earlier than usual and that's upset some people living on the water.

The dam was built in the 1930s.

"There's leaks, there's chips and cracks and it was time to do some major repair," says DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz.

The structure creates the Little Rice Flowage by damming the Wolf River just outside of Crandon.

The DNR started lowering water levels in the flowage Wednesday to repair the dam.

+ Read More
86th distirct state assembly candidates debateSubmitted: 10/01/2014

Play Video

WAUSAU - Four state assembly candidates will debate in Wausau Wednesday night. The two democrats and republicans will argue about topics like jobs, healthcare and the direction of the area.

The 86th district covers most of Western Marathon county and a small portion of Wood County. A Republican has held the seat for more than a decade. The city of Wausau traditionally votes for Democrats, but it is nearly entirely in the 85th district. That could mean good things for the incumbent Republican John Spiros.

The race is between Spiros and Democrat Nancy Stencil.

+ Read More
Police looking for suspect in a theft of 23 carsSubmitted: 10/01/2014

EVEREST AREA - Everest Metro Police want to find who tried to steal from 23 cars in the past week. Almost all the cars were left unlocked.

Some car owners lost money and other property. Some of the cars were inside an unlocked garage.

+ Read More
Organizers prepare for Cranberry FestSubmitted: 10/01/2014

EAGLE RIVER - Cranberry Fest draws about 40,000 people to Eagle River each year.

Organizers think this year will be no exception.

They started preparing the fairgrounds on Wednesday for this weekend's festival.

A majority of people who come to the festival are visiting from out of town.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here