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

Play Video

WHITE LAKE - After this week it may seem that spring is a long way off, butsome people in northern Wisconsin are still hopeful. 

People are especially hopeful in White Lake.  Village leaders put Iron Mike out on the lake on Wednesday. 

That means you can officially start guessing when the ice will melt—and when the metal-man will fall through it. 

"Norman Mike Berg is the one who came up with the idea," said Chris Oatman, a White Lake Village Board Trustee. "And Iron Mike is named after Mike Berg. And Mike was a native of White Lake and just so active in the community, for veterans and the school and so many things." 

After a 50-year hiatus, this is the second annual contest the village is hosting. Last year Iron Mike fell through on April 2. The winner got a $500 prize. Money raised from ticket sales also helps support the local VFW. 

"It's really exciting, the people really get into it," Oatman said. "The tickets are 5 dollars and basically the format for this year is you have to guess the day, and then you have to put down a time. So the closest one to the day without going over wins the prize." 

Iron Mike is one of many celebrations White Lake has this year. The village is celebrating it's centennial. The village will also have its annual Fishing Derby on Saturday as well. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MEDFORD - Many people think of football, basketball, and baseball when they think of high school sports, but in one northcentral Wisconsin community, curling comes to some minds.

The Medford High School curling team is one of the few high school teams in the area.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Investigators don't know yet how a 30-year-old woman died. She was found dead Tuesday in a bar bathroom with tools typically used for drugs.

Autumn Woodward was found dead Tuesday afternoon in the Denmar Tavern.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER -
Hakim Salaam, a personal chef and chef instructor at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, has a few easy recipes to make Valentine's Day extra sweet for that special someone.


+ Read More

FOREST CO. - A Forest County man pled not guilty to repeated Sexual Assault charges Wednesday.

Prosecutors accuse Dakota Tuckwab of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old at least three times.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Some local people travel all over the country to help put out wildfires.

They're part of the Eastern Area Incident Management Team.

The group is made up of state and federal wildfire experts from 21 northeastern states, including Wisconsin.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Doctors at Hometown Chiropractic in Tomahawk used to only be able to rely on the word of their patients when making adjustments, but a new tool is helping show patients their progress.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here