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State, tribal effort to treat drug users instead of jail time to be unveiled next week

Brass Milled Gavel By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Brass Milled Gavel By walknboston (Flickr: Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

EAGLE RIVER, WI (WTAQ) - A joint state and tribal effort to treat drug users instead of jailing them will be unveiled next week.

It’s called the “Healing to Wellness Court,” and it’s being run by the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Court and the Vilas County Circuit Court.

Repeat non-violent drug offenders can voluntarily enter the new program.

Bob Kovar of the Marshfield Clinic Center for Community Outreach says they’ll have 18 to 24 months of treatment. When they’re done, they’ll have sobriety and jobs waiting for them – and they will have turned their lives around.

Kovar says jails and prisons just put offenders out of sight and out of mind, and they don’t treat their underlying addiction problems.

The new Healing to Wellness Court is more than a year in the making. It will be rolled out during a ceremony on Wednesday at the Judicial Center in Lac du Flambeau.

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