Loading

65°F

68°F

68°F

68°F

64°F

68°F

66°F

68°F

64°F

66°F

68°F

64°F
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

PHILLIPS - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants all city police officers to wear body cameras by the end of next year. He made that proposal this week after tension between police and the public in places like Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri.

One Northwoods police department has been using the cameras for years. Phillips police officers have worn body cameras since 2008. They turn them on while responding to many situations in the city.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.

The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Heading back to school makes many students stress about what they are going to wear, especially when it comes to that first day look. And educators at one Northwoods school want their students to know that dressing for success, is more important than dressing to fit in.

At Lakeland Union High School, the dress code is designed to promote making wise fashion choices. Administrators say they want students to get in the routine of dressing, as if they're going to work.

"We're teaching them how to get ready for college and how to get ready for a career that they're going to be going into, 'career and college readiness', we want to make sure that they understand 'dressing for success', and a lot of times we spend a lot of time talking from that point of view," said Lakeland Union High School principal Jim Bouche.

Lakeland Union High School doesn't require uniforms, but they do have specific guidelines in place. They don't spell out what students can wear, but instead tell them what they can't. The overall goal is to keep kids focused in class.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - The First Thursday means more than just a day in Wausau. It's a chance for stores to stay open later, and bring people downtown. The theme for the fourth, 2015 installment focused on live art in the Wausau River District and 400 Block.

For Wausau's Valerie Berkely, it gave her the chance to get others in touch with art.

Berkely greeted people passing by with a "Hi, I teach painting here" during the occasion outside the Center for the Visual Arts in Wausau.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - This year the PotatoFest in Rhinelander will still have the favorites, like the French Fry Frenzy and Polka Sunday.

But there will also be a few new additions like a beanbag toss tournament, and potato pantyhose bowling.

"The pantyhose bowling that's where you wear a pantyhose on your head and it's filled with a potato, and then you have to swing your head to knock pins, or knock the ball down to knock the pins over," said DRI Executive Director Maggie Steffen.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Most of northern Wisconsin will be able to hunt bucks this year only during deer hunting season, but in Rhinelander, people might be able to hunt does as part of a city hunt.

The Rhinelander City Council will vote on whether to allow a citywide bow hunt.

It's held citywide hunts before.

Rhinelander's Police Chief Mike Steffes says it hasn't in a couple of years.

+ Read More

ARBOR VITAE - Fire destroyed a home in Arbor Vitae early Thursday morning but everyone inside got out safely.

A 911 call came into the Vilas County Sheriff's Department at 4:00 a.m., reporting a fire at 2075 Soik Road.

People in the home woke up to the smell of smoke.

They told police they found flames coming from one of the walls.

After trying to put out the fire, they got out of the home.

No one was hurt, but the home was a total loss.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here