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Treatment court training focuses on standards, performance measures

Madison, Wisconsin - October 26, 2015

More than 500 people from 58 Wisconsin treatment court programs received training in treatment court standards and performance measures during sessions held at six locations across the state this fall. The final session was held Oct. 23 in the Washburn County community of Trego in northwestern Wisconsin. Other sessions were held in Madison, Appleton, La Crosse, Racine, and Wisconsin Rapids.

The training sessions were developed, organized, and led by the state Department of Justice (DOJ) with the support of the Director of State Courts Office under a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance. Collaborative teaching teams consisted of judges, treatment court program coordinators, and state Department of Corrections staff.

Participants in the training sessions included judges, public defenders, district attorneys, Department of Corrections staff, treatment court coordinators, law enforcement, treatment staff, and social workers from Wisconsin treatment court programs.

Training covered the 17 Wisconsin Treatment Court Standards and the National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) Performance Measures, all of which help ensure that treatment courts effectively improve performance of the criminal justice system. Participants in the training sessions will use what they’ve learned to develop or refine specific plans for operating effective treatment courts in their jurisdictions.

The 17 standards support the continuing implementation of evidence-based practice approaches to the criminal justice system. The core of these standards is based on The Key Components published by the US Department of Justice. Each standard encompasses a set of practice points and identify specific steps to achieve these standards and activities unique to treatment courts in Wisconsin.

Performance measures provide timely information about key aspects of the performance of the drug court to program managers and staff, enabling them to identify effective practices and, if warranted, to take corrective actions.

Treatment courts are a cross-discipline approach aimed at reducing recidivism and improving public safety by addressing underlying issues that may be contributing factors to criminal behavior. Wisconsin has 75 fully functioning treatment courts, which address a variety of issues relating to drugs, alcohol, mental health or other concerns.

NCSC worked closely with the advisory group to help structure the training and provide resources. Additional support was provided by the Wisconsin Association of Treatment Court Professionals and more than 30 people from counties, state agencies and the court system. Members of the Planning and Policy Advisory Committee’s Effective Justice Strategies Subcommittee also provided guidance for the training.

Training teams at the sessions consisted of: District III Court of Appeals Judge Lisa K. Stark; Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Ellen R. Brostrom; La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Elliott M. Levine; Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Mitchell J. Metropulos; Dane County Circuit Court Judge John W. Markson; Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Kathryn W. Foster; Wood County Treatment Court Coordinator Ryan McMillen; Walworth County Treatment Court Coordinator Katie Behl; Milwaukee Treatment Court Coordinator Carol Carlson; Eau Claire County Treatment Court Coordinator Patrick Isenberger; La Crosse County Treatment Court Coordinator Jane Klekamp; Outagamie County Treatment Court Coordinator Bethany Robinson; Rock County Treatment Court Coordinator Elizabeth Pohlman-McQuillen; Grant County Treatment Court Coordinator Kristin Schier; Director of the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Information and Analysis, Constance Kostelac; and Re-entry Project Manager at the state Department of Corrections Jared Hoy.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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