11/05/2019- Marinette County’s Treatment Drug Court is now in its sixth year rehabilitating felony drug offenders to help break the cycle of addiction and crime. It’s a system that immerses high-risk/high-need participants in a months-long program to establish new relationships, new thought patterns, and for many, a new approach to living their lives. Public Defender Brad Schraven says his office used to have a revolving door of drug addicts who’d serve their sentence and fall right back into using once they were released, but with Drug Court, it’s a team approach and the accountability placed on participants for their choices and actions setting this treatment program apart and making it a continued success.
“What happens for most people is you get put on probation. There’s a lot of people that are on probation and they’re trying to do the best they can to hold people accountable, but it’s more reactive and what we’re trying to do is be more proactive in this approach. It’s just a higher level of scrutiny and instead of waiting and… a whole month has gone by maybe while you’re on supervision before they figure out there might be a problem- we’re figuring out problems usually right away.”
Schraven says the program is no longer only impacting those enrolled in it, but is laying the ground work for a community that’s willing to confront the types of drug-related challenges it’s facing and foster recovery.
“As we progress through and push them to continue going to AA and NA, for example, some of them are leading their own meetings now and creating meetings in locations where there weren’t meetings before. We have people who are are dragging their significant other or their parents into recovery by just saying ‘I can’t be part of your life if you’re not going to be clean and sober, as well.’ And it’s a great thing to see that this community now has a really good young recovery community of people that are out there to support one another, mentor one another, and be sponsors for one another.”
Since it was established in 2014, around 70 people have participated in the Marinette County Treatment Drug Court. 25 have graduated from the program, 28 have been terminated, and 17 people are currently enrolled.