TIP Supporters: Legislative Advocay Needed




Alcohol and Other Drug Addictions Task Force


The MICAH AODA Task Force is busy on a number of different fronts.

Federal Funding for AODA

Federal funding for the Wiser Choice program ended in late 2007, leaving a $7 million gap in funding for treatment of uninsured addicts in Milwaukee County. MICAH with others, including District Attorney John Chisholm, advocated for continued funding of the Wiser Choice program. Thankfully, Milwaukee County was one of the few successful recipients of another 3 year round of funding from the federal government, this time at a rate of $4.2 million per year.

State Funding for Treatment Alternative & Diversion Programs

MICAH has representation on the Program & Intervention Committee of the Milwaukee County Community Justice Coordinating Council. This group works on diverting low risk offenders out of the court and jail systems into supervised and effective community-based treatment programs. MICAH works with the courts, police, corrections, treatment providers, district attorney, sheriff, public defender, county jail and Department of Health & Human Services to see that TAD is successful. More than 1,000 low risk offenders have been sent to supervised treatment in the community instead of jail & prison, saving thousands of jail days which would have cost the county and state millions of dollars. MICAH with other allies secured continued finding for TAD for this year and is working to ensure continuity beyond 2009.

County Tax Levy Funding for AODA

MICAH ardently opposed a $1.2 million cut in AODA treatment funding in the 2008 County budget and prevailed, with the help of some key county supervisors, to have $600,000 of the proposed cuts restored.

Drug Treatment Court

MICAH has advocated for a drug treatment court for many years and we are happy to report that such a court started on January 1st 2009. With backing from the District Attorney’s office and the Chief Judge’s office this court is up and running and MICAH will continue to advocate for increased resources to expand its effectiveness.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm with MICAH AODA Task Force members at 2008 Public Meeting

Milwaukee Area Treatment Initiative

MICAH is part of a coalition being led by Community Advocates which includes Justice 2000, District Attorney’s Office, Public Policy Forum, the Benedict Center and others which secured a 3 year, $450,000 grant from the Open Society Institute to fundamentally reform the way treatment is funded and accessed in the community. The major goal shared by all of these allies is treatment on demand for any substance abuser who seeks help, regardless of level of income. MICAH will work tirelessly until this vision of health & justice is realized in our community. MICAH is involved at all levels of this initiative.

More Adequate Funding for Statewide Treatment Alternatives and Diversion

Over a dozen MICAH activists continue to work, along with representatives from other WISDOM affiliate organizations, to secure more adequate funding for Milwaukee County and all the counties of Wisconsin, to implement Treatment Alternatives and Diversionary programs. MICAH along with other WISDOM affiliates initiated efforts to pass Treatment Instead of Prison (TIP) legislation in 1999, and was successful in getting the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) legislation passed in 2005. This legislation encourages counties to establish such programs as day report centers and drug treatment courts for non-violent offenders with underlying mental health and substance abuse issues, to be able to access holistic treatment services instead of incarceration. The goal is to secure $20-40 million for such alternatives to incarceration in the 2009-11 state budget.