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Communicating Value: UWEX Partners with County Drug Court

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  • During the early part of this decade, methamphetamine (meth) use was reaching epidemic proportions. Rural meth labs were common. Persons convicted of meth use were overcrowding the St. Croix County Court and Jail. According to the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories, in 2004 St. Croix County had the highest reported meth cases in the state. At one point, the jail population reached 168 inmates with roughly 60 percent in jail for meth-related crimes (Baldwin Bulletin April 2010). Less than a year before I started, the St. Croix County Meth Committee was formed to address the issue of public education to reduce meth use.
  • Barron Burnett Chippewa Dane Dunn Eau Claire :a Crosse Milwaukee Pierce Polk Racine Rock St. Croix Trempealeau Washburn Winnebago Wood Douglas Brown Jackson Outagamie Sawyer LaCrosse Washington Waukesah Ashland Jefferson Rock Grant Iron Kenosha
  • In a letter written to Pete Kling Community, Natural Resource Development Agent/Co-Department Head by Judge Vlack and Amber Perry Drug Court Coordinator reported additional specific financial behavior changes they have witnessed including “individuals open checking accounts, writing their first checks and getting out of debt”
  • Important to use Principles of Family Support – All families (individuals within families) have strengths. Coaching model worked best.
  • SCC also has a Juvenile Drug Treatment Court.
  • http://wpt2.org/NPA/IW737methupdate.cfm 5:25

Communicating Value: UWEX Partners with County Drug Court Communicating Value: UWEX Partners with County Drug Court Presentation Transcript

  • UWEX Partners with County Drug Court Joan Sprain, FLE, St. Croix Co. Mary Geissler, FLE, Chippewa Co.
  • Situation
    • Prison incarceration costs $25,000 annually.
    • 10 th Judicial District of WI had the highest rate of methamphetamine cases; 57% of state total (2005) overcrowding courts & jails
    • Drug Court initiatives expanded rapidly
  • Components of Drug Court
    • Criminal justice & drug treatment partnership
    • Alcohol/drug abuse treatment, drug court hearings, drug testing & employment in lieu of prison
    • Completion of several phases over 1-2 years
    • Drug court teams review progress of each case and recommend incentives/sanctions
  • Drug Courts in Wisconsin
  • Response
      • Chippewa County
        • One-to-one financial counseling
      • St. Croix
        • One-to-one financial coaching
        • Parent education classes
        • Connections to WNEP & Other UW resources
  • Success Stories-Chippewa County
  • Chippewa County
  • Success Stories- St. Croix County
  • Outcomes-St. Croix Co. N=11
  • Outcomes
    • St. Croix Co. participants
      • Paid drug court fees
      • Accessed resources like economic support, food stamps and birth control.
      • Acquired car insurance & saved money to move
      • Reported setting up on-line banking to monitoring spending
      • One reduced a $2100/month house payment to $1520.
  • Benefits to Counties
    • Direct dollar savings to county
    • Helps county reach goals for drug courts and participants
    • Increases UWEX’s value to counties
  • Lessons Learned
    • Each participant has unique skills and needs
    • Relapse is common
    • Drug court teams create incentives/consequences for our program participants
    • Record keeping is important
    • Communication with coordinator is essential
    • Time intensive
  • Future
    • Other potential opportunities to connect UWEX resources with drug courts:
      • WNEP
      • SF 10-14 & other parent education
      • Youth programs
      • UWEX Criminal Justice Group
  • Questions?