Judge Dan Wood and Adams County Sheriff Sam Wollin touted the successes of the Adams County Treatment Court during the Dell Prairie Town Board on Oct. 9.

Wood and Wollin continued their tour of Adams County presenting on the treatment court as it reached its one year anniversary Oct. 10.

“The court services high risk, high need individuals,” Wood said. “High risk of criminal activity because of addiction, and high need of treatment because of addiction.”

Wood and Wollin explained the court services people with drug or alcohol addiction issues which have led to an arrest and conviction. The court serves as “intensive intervention,” with those participating coming to court on a weekly basis, performing court mandated functions, and following a specific set of rules.

“A lot of these individuals are used to being in the criminal justice system and spending significant time in jail,” Wood said. “Getting positive feedback in court can mean a whole lot.”

For those participants who do not meet the court’s requirements for behavior on a weekly basis, sanctions can include writing assignments, unpaid community service, or jail time, according to Wood and Wollin.

“Some people view (the court) as a slap on the writst, but it’s far from that,” Wollin said. “(These individuals are) on probation, but also under supervision of the court. They have to follow probation rules and the rules of the court.”

Wollin explained that the court begins by trying to provide an environment for stabilization for participants. Individuals in the program must show up to court every week, see a coordinator and individual care provider every week, participate in group sessions, submit to two random drug tests per week, and are under more intense supervision than a traditional program.

“(We’re) addressing underlying issues that leads to criminal behavior,” said Wollin. “Rather than being a drain on the community, (the court is) bringing them back to being a contributing member.”

The court currently has six participants, with a targeted participant count of 15. Participation lasts 14 months at the minimum, with no graduates of the program yet because the court has existed for 12 months. Two individuals have been “terminated from the program” according to Wood, and are now in prison.

“it’s easy enough to just say these are drug addicts, what’s one more or one less in society,” Wood said. “These are people (who) have potential to contribute to society.”

Wood stated the program had support throughout the state, including from the legislature, Governor Scott Walker, and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel.

“The program is not just some kind of mamsy whamsy, feel good, liberal policy, this is something that is evidence based,” Wood said.

The treatment court meets at 9:30 a.m. every Tuesday, and sessions are open to the public.

In other business before the town board, the board

  • Approved a conditional use permit for to allow for short term rentals at a property located at 886 S. Glen Lane. Occupancy would be for one or two families, with a maximum number of 10 occupants.
  • Approved a resolution adopting changes to the Adams County Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.
  • Approved the purchase of 750 tons of salt/sand mixture for use during the winter on the roads.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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