Marshfield, Wis. (WSAW) -- Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Judge Lisa Neubauer tells NewsChannel 7 that the Supreme Court should focus on helping jumpstart more treatment courts like the Brown County Heroin Treatment Court she visited in Green Bay on Thursday. Later, she attended a meet-and-greet for voters in Marshfield Thursday night.
The heroin treatment court in Green Bay is a judge-moderated program that incorporates members of the District Attorney's office, public defenders, and health and human services to provide an alternative to incarceration for participants struggling with addiction.
Brown County describes drug courts as a unique partnership between the judicial and law enforcement community to create a heavily-supervised addiction recovery program, based on a model first started in Miami in 1989.
"I would love to see our Supreme Court do more to support these kinds of local efforts by these local heroes who are really stepping in to help address in a very real way the opioid crisis and mental health issues," Neubauer said.
She says the heroin treatment court is the only one of its kind in Wisconsin--and one out of just five in the entire nation. Currently, there's about 20 people working through the program, which she says demands a lot from participants.
"People who were arrested for possession, and those are people who had an addiction issue...they're really ready to roll up their sleeves," she added.
Chief judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Judge Neubauer is running against fellow appellate court judge Brian Hagedorn, who on his website points to the drug crisis in Wisconsin as part of his platform.
"The heroin and meth epidemics are ravaging our communities. We must be part of the conversation," he wrote.
He adds that the next Supreme Court justice should recognize the constitutional rights of both crime victims, as well as those accused.
Neubauer and Hagedorn will face off in the non-partisan election on April 2; stay with NewsChannel 7 for complete coverage of their campaigns.