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

MADISON - The leaders of Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency met behind closed doors again to discuss contract negotiations with Foxconn Technology Group but didn't take any action.

The electronics giant wants to build a flat-screen manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant. Walker signed a $3 billion incentives package for the company last month.

+ Read More

Play Video

PRENTICE - The Prentice School Board approved a new policy for the district tonight.

The goal of the policy is to keep the district's social media accounts focused on celebrating its successes, and to teach students appropriate social media behavior.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Cross Country teams enter the postseason this weekend. Rhinelander runners are hoping to have their best race yet. 

Their season has been leading up to this weekend's sectional meet in Waupaca. Rhinelander's top runner, Alayna Franson, knows what the state meet feels like and is hoping to get back there. 

As the cross country season comes to a close and the air gets cooler, the competition heats up. 

"I'm just hoping to stay with the front pack, get a good time, close to whoever is in the front," said Franson. 

And for senior runner Alayna Franson, that means the battle to get to the state meet is on. 

"I have really high hopes for myself, high goals, I want to make it to state hopefully place at state," said Franson. 

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Lawyers expect to call "a number" of expert witnesses in the Oneida County homicide case against Ellen Tran.

Finding and vetting those experts could take months, lawyers told a judge on Tuesday in court.

Tran is charged with causing the death of her 20-month-old stepson, Avery Edwards, at a Rhinelander home in April.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will spend until February to identify those witnesses.

After that, the case could go to trial.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Chris Sandstrom knows that, like hockey, his task is all about precision.

"Trying to guess this doesn't work too well," said Sandstrom, kneeling on the ground at Rhinelander Ice Arena on Tuesday morning.

Sandstrom and a small crew have spent the last two days carefully preparing every inch of the rink.

"You can't make a mistake. If you make a mistake, it can't be redone," he said.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for heavy equipment operators to increase 10 percent in the next 10 years. 
 
Industry professionals are always trying to find more qualified people to fill those positions.

They worked with Nicolet College to develop curriculum for the basic heavy equipment operator course. 

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he thinks NFL players should stop protesting during the national anthem.

The Republican former presidential hopeful sent a letter Monday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith saying he believes players are showing disrespect for the flag and veterans.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here