Support for Expansion of Treatment and Diversion (TAD) Funding
We invite you to join us in signing a Letter to the Joint Finance Committee to Support Treatment and Diversion (TAD) that asks our leaders to support expanded TAD funding. This expanded funding will contribute to public safety while potentially extending other programs, including mental health treatment court in Milwaukee County.
The purpose of mental health treatment courts is to divert from jail to treatment people from with serious mental disorders who are charged with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. The court works to improve a participant's mental health recovery and at the same time, reduce his/her involvement in the criminal justice system.
In his biennial budget request Governor Tony Evers called for an additional $15 million in the second year for Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD). Governor Tony Evers’ 2021 budget plan opens the opportunity for TAD funding may be able to to be extended beyond Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse counseling and into specialty courts such as mental health treatment courts in Senate Bill 111. With the support of TAD funding, the mental health treatment court could expand from serving 5 to as many as 100 people in the Milwaukee area.
Diversion programs have proven successful at lowering incarceration rates and saving the state money. From their beginning in 2005, the evidence-based programs that receive TAD funds have been shown to reduce incarceration and prevent re-offending and, consequently, have had broad bipartisan support. The most recent evaluation, conducted by the Wisconsin State Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, covered the 6,125 people who participated in TAD programs over the five-year period 2014 to 2018.
That evaluation found that 56% of program participants successfully completed treatment and avoided incarceration and were subsequently less likely to re-offend. It is estimated that for every dollar spent on drug treatment alternatives, the state saved $4.17 in reduced incarceration and court expenditures. The cost-benefit ratio for diversion programs, which have fewer court appearances and participant needs, was even more favorable, with the state saving $8.68 for each dollar spent.
We need your support to make it happen. Learn more about how you can support at the link below.
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