Treatment instead of jail time seems to be working well in La Crosse County, to break people of illegal drug habits.
The county has operated a special Drug Treatment Court for 20 years, founded in 2002, and a study shows the program has a good record of helping drug offenders avoid repeat arrests.
“Among successful participants on average, only 3.89 per cent had positive drug and alcohol tests throughout their time in the program,” says Tonya Van Tol, the county’s manager of justice support services. “There’s a 10 per cent benchmark that is set, so that is great.”
The Drug Treatment Court has gotten good marks from experts with the National Center for State Courts.
Van Tol describes the average candidate for drug court: “a white male between the ages of 25 and 34 who had a high school diploma or a GED.”
“Most of the participants were not married, they were unemployed coming into the program,” she says.