A courtroom is not a place where you expect to find scenes of celebration and tears of joy. Unless, of course, it’s a drug court. This May, drug courts throughout Wisconsin will join more than 4,000 programs nationwide in celebrating National Drug Court Month. This year alone, more than 150,000 individuals nationwide who entered the justice system due to addiction will receive life saving treatment and the chance to repair their lives, reconnect with their families, and find long-term recovery.
National Drug Court Month is a celebration of the lives restored by drug court, and it sends the powerful message that these programs must be expanded to reach more people in need. More than 30 years ago, the first drug court opened its doors with a simple premise: Rather than continue to allow individuals with long histories of addiction and crime to cycle through the justice system at a great expense to the public, use the leverage of the court to keep them engaged in treatment long enough to be successful. Today, drug courts and other treatment courts have proven that a combination of accountability and compassion saves lives while also saving valuable resources and reducing expensive criminal justice costs.
The more than 4,000 Treatment Courts nationwide are important because they:
- Have been restoring lives and families for more than three decades.
- Have served 1.5 million individuals and have saved an average of $6,000 for every individual served.
- Significantly improve substance use disorder treatment outcomes, reduce addiction and related crime, and do so at less expense than any other criminal justice strategy.
- Improve education, employment, housing, financial stability, and family reunification, which reduces foster care placements.
- Facilitate community-wide partnerships, bringing together public safety and public health professionals.
- Demonstrate that when one person rises out of substance use and crime, we all rise!
The Burnett County Drug Court is saving lives and reducing crime by offering evidence based treatment and accountability to people struggling with substance use and mental health disorders. We know that Burnett County has been hit hard by the methamphetamine epidemic. We can’t incarcerate our way out of this problem. That is why the Burnett County Drug Court is so critical, we offer intense supervision and treatment to lead people out of the justice system and into long term recovery.
If you would like more information regarding the Burnett County Drug Court please contact Tessa Anderson, Drug Court Coordinator, at 715-349-7600 ext. 2279.
Submitted by: Tessa Anderson, Drug Court Coordinator
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