About 75 enthusiastic people listened to the presentation in Green Bay of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) documenting the effects of expanding Wisconsin’s pilot program of Treatment Alternative Diversion (TAD) programs. The year-long study was conducted by Human Impact Partners and WISDOM, with financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study showed that increasing funding for TAD programs in Wisconsin to $75 million annually will create savings for the state by reducing the number of prisoners and at the same time will make our communities safer by reducing the number of crimes committed.
Wisconsin’s prison population is roughly twice as large as Minnesota’s, although the two states have quite similar populations. This is because we in Wisconsin imprison many nonviolent offenders, including drug-related offenders and alcohol-impaired-drivers. Our communities would be better served by treatment alternatives because treatment is more effective than imprisonment and costs far less.
The presentation of the HIA results is the latest step in WISDOM’s 11x15 Campaign to build legislative support for funding TAD programs across Wisconsin. In the words of David Liners, WISDOM’s leader of the 11x15 project, “I’ve never felt this much energy, and this level of consensus, before. … We have gotten statements of support from liberals, conservatives, newspapers, bloggers, judges, district attorneys…. We have never gotten this much positive media attention before.”
To learn more about this exciting project, go to prayforjusticeinwi.org