Carrie Nitz, coordinator for Green Lake County’s drug court program, works in her office Monday after the quarterly meeting of the county’s health and human services family resource council. The drug court program is one of the department’s newest initiatives.
Carrie Nitz, coordinator for Green Lake County’s drug court program, works in her office Monday after the quarterly meeting of the county’s health and human services family resource council. The drug court program is one of the department’s newest initiatives.

   “She came from having a couple felonies on her record, looking at going to prison.”

   Through Winnebago County’s drug treatment court, Carrie Nitz recalled what happened to one young woman enrolled in the program.

   The woman made it through the program, graduated college and now is finishing her master’s degree and working at a treatment facility, “which is amazing,” Nitz gushed.

   Now Nitz and Green Lake County’s health and human services department hope they can offer that same light at the end of the tunnel to county residents.

   Wisconsin’s drug courts offer an alternative to prison for nonviolent offenders through treatment, community service, counseling, support groups and more.

   The choice may seem obvious for those convicted of substance abuse crimes. But the program is a serious, significant commitment.

   “If somebody did everything perfectly, it would be 14 months [minimum] for them to get through the program,” said Nitz, the coordinator for Green Lake County’s nascent drug court program. ...

   “Given we’re working with a population who, a lot of times, we’re asking them to change everything in their life — from their friends to the places that they go, all those things — we’re not asking them to be perfect,” she said, “and we’re working with them as they navigate through this whole, new idea of how to be a productive member of society.”

   Read the full story in the March 8, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.