Program Currently Operates Only In Milwaukee
by Gilman Halsted
The success of a family drug treatment court in Milwaukee has prompted lawmakers to consider expanding the program to other parts of the state.
The court in Milwaukee is the only one in Wisconsin to offer a non-criminal option for drug-addicted parents to win back custody of their children. After four years, more than half of the participants now have their children back at home. Sara Scullen, a county prosecutor said the program works because it’s based on supporting rather than punishing parents who want to change.
“Let’s face it, addicts, they know they need help,” she said. “They know they aren’t doing the right thing and for us to wave our finger at them and continue to shame them for their addiction isn’t going to help.”
Scullen is urging legislators to pass a bill that would expand access to the federal grant that launched the Milwaukee program. Grants would also be available for juvenile treatment courts for teens with mental health or drug abuse problems.
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