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Illegal drug possession charges

Drug Court Alternatives | Madison WI Drug Arrests

Drug Court Alternatives To Arrest Can Reduce Recidivism

When a person is found guilty of drug charges in Wisconsin, the court often sentences defendants to jail time. This has proven to be an ineffective deterrent to drug use and time after time, counties see the same people come through their courtrooms. It’s evident that this approach does not work for many drug users, but there are alternatives to jail that do show promise in reducing recidivism rates and helping users get clean for good.

Madison’s Drug Court Options

The National Institute of Justice has found that assigning drug offenders to a treatment or diversion program is more effective and less costly than repeatedly sending the offender to jail. The Dane County Circuit Court operates three alcohol and drug addiction programs in Madison, WI. The programs vary based on the needs of the participants and the drug court will assign defendants to the program that best meets his or her needs. Each program lasts at least nine months, but may go longer, and is tailored to each participant based on the circumstances surrounding their drug charges.

  • Treatment Program. This program is available for defendants who have been arrested on drug charges. Minimum time for this program is one year.
  • Deferred Prosecution Unit. This program is dedicated to first-time offenders who are ineligible for the other two programs. Each participant must sign a contract with conditions that he or she must complete in order to receive a dismissal or amendment of the charges.

Defendants can request a referral to one of the programs or they can be recommended for one of the programs by attorneys, prosecutors, probation agents or judges. A mental health screening is used to determine the applicant’s risk and ascertain which program would be most appropriate for their recovery.

Participation is completely voluntary.

Program Details

Participants in both the Treatment and Diversion programs can expect:

  • Closely monitored addiction treatment
  • Random drug testing
  • Verification of employment
  • Case management

Case management is essential to the success of the programs, particularly if the addiction is a symptom of other problems the participant is facing. Case managers meet frequently with participants to evaluate how the treatment is progressing and provide additional referrals and information about additional resources such as those related to housing, mental and physical health, education and training, money management or employment.

Get Back On Track With Help From A Madison, WI Drug Crimes Attorney

One of the hardest parts of overcoming drug addiction is staying clean, getting your life back on track and overcoming other obstacles that may predispose you to addiction. The drug court alternatives that are available in Dane County and Madison, WI, help offenders overcome these obstacles to turn their lives around and reduce their chances of re-arrest.

To learn more about these programs or to discuss your drug case with a drug crimes attorney in Madison, WI contact Eisenberg Law Offices at 608-256-8356 or by emailing