The Vernon County Circuit Court has been awarded a three-year federal grant of $207,531 from the Office of Justice.

The federal funds, plus $70,000 in matching county funds will be used to enhance the current Sobriety Court, which is an OWI treatment court operational since 2011, and to transition to a “hybrid” OWI/drug treatment court that will serve not only OWI defendants, but also defendants in need of treatment and supervision for other addictions. With this grant funding, the court can offer early treatment intervention to participants who will be required to attend counseling, submit to frequent random drug testing, and in return will receive reduced sentences and fines.

“This federal funding provides critical assistance to our county and is an investment in our community,” Judge Darcy Rood said. “We finally can offer hope to those grappling with addiction rather than the bleak reality of the revolving door of jail. Participants have the opportunity to turn their lives around, which will lead to more productive residents and a safer Vernon County. We thank the county for its continuing support and the county’s grant writer whose expertise was instrumental in securing these funds.”

The Vernon County Sobriety Court is the result of a collaborative effort between the Circuit Court, the Vernon County District Attorney’s Office, the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department, the State Department of Corrections, the Vernon County Bar Association, the Vernon County Department of Human Services and Schmidt Consulting.

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