Treatment court programs gain traction

Beloit man sentenced to 12 years for dealing heroin

Wisconsin has more than 50 treatment programs across the state, with another 10 in the planning phase.

Court officials said momentum is growing to bring the relatively new approach to a greater number of counties.

Judges, attorneys, social workers and treatment providers work together and set expectations for offenders that include employment and counseling. Participants who fail receive sanctions that sometimes include jail.

Dane County established Wisconsin’s first drug treatment court in 1996.

The Post-Crescent reported the Wisconsin Association of Treatment Court Professionals drew nearly 300 people to its annual conference held Wednesday through Friday in Appleton.

Representatives from across the state will hold an event in May in Madison to raise awareness of the programs and to show lawmakers what the courts can accomplish.