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

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

ARBOR VITAE -
Deputies in Vilas County needs help finding a suspect that broke into a local business recently, according to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect triggered an alarm at the Little Creek Coffee Company in Arbor Vitae on June 22.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAONA - This time last year, staff at Camp LeFeber in Laona thought they weren't going to have another season. The Boy Scout Camp was set to close last summer, but with the help of one group and people in the community, it'll stay open this year and perhaps for years to come. 

Camper Erik Norlock has made the trip from Whitefish Bay to Camp LeFeber in Laona since he finished 5th grade. 

"I care a lot about every single scout that we have here," said Norlock. "And being about to do it in such an amazing place is really something that touches home for me."

But the now high school graduate and hundreds more boy scouts who travel to the camp every year almost didn't have a place to go back to. 

+ Read More

PRICE COUNTY - The Price County Sheriff's Office says that 76-year-old Lola Schmidt died after a truck vs. train crash on Saturday.

The crash happened at the intersection of County Road D and the Canadian National Railroad tracks in the town of Knox.

+ Read More

WASHINGTON - The United States Supreme Court Tuesday formally rejected an appeal from Wisconsin which sought to put restrictions doctors working at abortion clinics.

The Justices on Tuesday refused to hear appeals from both Wisconsin and Mississippi.

They involved laws that would have required doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The orders follow Monday's decision in which the court struck down a similar provision in Texas.

Federal appeals courts in Chicago and New Orleans earlier ruled against the states.

Mississippi's law would have closed the lone abortion clinic in the state, in Jackson.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's July 4th parade will follow a slightly different route this year, due a major downtown reconstruction project.  But the parade organizer says people are as excited as ever for the celebrations.

Instead of going down Brown Street as in years past, the parade will step off right in front of the Oneida County Courthouse on Oneida and Davenport Streets.  The route will then go down Pelham Street, past City Hall, and north up Courtney ending at Young Street.

"We know there's excitement when they're saying, 'Is there going to be a parade? Is there going to be a parade? How are you going to do it,'" parade director Dale Schlieve said.

+ Read More

Play Video

VILAS COUNTY - A Lac du Flambeau woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a Vilas County contracting company took a plea deal Monday.

49-year-old Samantha Chapman pled guilty to felony theft, fraudulent writings, and tax fraud.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You can find a lot of signs around downtown Rhinelander this summer. Some say "road closed," others say "detour". But some new, large signs will help you find all the downtown businesses are still open.

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. printed several laminated signs directing people to those downtown shops and restaurants.  The signs will be placed on Lincoln Street as well as various entry points downtown.

Hext Theater Owner Jim Hext, who serves as DRI's promotions director, says some store owners put signs up in front of their buildings, which made a big difference.

"A lot of traffic flowed to their businesses then because of the signage that they put up," Hext said.  "So this is in hope that people will kind of see that as well too."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here