Drug addiction is a mental and emotional illness, just as much as it can be a crime. Fortunately, more and more states are beginning to treat the mental health issues that cause drug offenses rather than simply sending people to jail.
Through alternative drug treatment techniques called Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) programs, states across the country -- including Wisconsin -- have helped many nonviolent drug offenders get the help they need through voluntary substance abuse treatment as an alternative to prison or jail sentences.
TAD programs in different Wisconsin counties
The TAD programs available to drug defendants in Wisconsin vary depending on the county where the alleged offense occurred. These programs have helped many people overcome their addiction problems. They have also saved taxpayers money because they bypass the costs associated with imprisonment.
In order for a convicted person to successfully graduate from a Treatment Alternatives and Diversion program, the individual must abstain from using substances.
Here are the TAD programs offered by different Wisconsin counties:
Ashland and Bayfield Counties: Offer bail diversion, deferred entry of judgment, deferred prosecution, use of a risk reduction treatment court, day reporting and alternatives to revocation. The Red Cliff and Bad River Tribes are also involved in these projects.
Burnett and Washburn Counties: These counties -- along with the participation of the St. Croix Tribe -- have two special drug courts that try cases relating to drug-motivated crimes. These counties also help offenders who require long-term drug treatment.
Dane County: This county has a pretrial bail diversion program that helps low- to moderate-risk offenders get addiction treatment.
Rock County: This county has a drug court to assist those accused of drug-related offenses and helps offenders receive education, treatment and employment placement.
Milwaukee County: This county has a pretrial diversion program to help offenders with mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment. Successful completion of the program could result in the reduction or dismissal of drug charges.
Washington County: This county has a diversion program that targets individuals facing second or third offense OWI charges in addition to those on probation or parole supervision.
Wood County: This county has an adult drug treatment court that helps offenders with drug dependency issues.
Can you qualify for a TAD program?
If you are suffering from a substance abuse problem that led to you facing drug charges, you may want investigate the legal options available to you under any TAD programs that your Wisconsin county might offer. In some cases, defendants can avoid jail time while getting the professional help and assistance they require to overcome their addictions.