2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
April 3, 2014 - Introduced by Representatives Goyke,
Hesselbein, Kolste, C.
Taylor, Sargent, Ringhand, Sinicki, Milroy, Bewley, Richards, Shankland,
Hebl, Berceau, Young, Ohnstad, Barnes, Wachs, Genrich, Pasch and
Zepnick, cosponsored by Senators Risser,
L. Taylor, Vinehout, Harris and
Lassa. Referred to Committee on Veterans.
1An Act to create
20.485 (2) (tg) and 45.46 of the statutes; relating to:
2establishment of a veterans court grant program and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, the Department of Justice administers a program that
provides grants to counties to work with persons, other than violent offenders, who
have been charged with or convicted of crimes and who abuse alcohol or drugs with
the goal of providing them alternatives to incarceration such as deferred prosecution
and counseling based on the principles of restorative justice. Under current law, a
violent offender is one who has one or more prior convictions for a felony involving
the use or attempted use of force with the intent to cause death or seriously bodily
harm and is now being charged with, or has now been convicted of, a similar offense.
A county receiving a grant must provide persons participating in the program
with social services, including treatment for substance abuse, mental health
treatment, and assistance in finding employment and housing. Under current law,
a county must provide matching funds that are equal to 25 percent of the amount of
the grant for the program, and a person participating in the program must pay a
reasonable amount for any substance use or mental health treatment he or she
receives in the program, based on his or her income and available assets.
This bill creates a similar grant program to be administered by the Department
of Veterans Affairs for veterans who have been charged with or convicted of crimes
and who are not violent offenders. Under this program, the veteran participating in
the program need not abuse alcohol or drugs in order to be eligible.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
20.005 (3) (schedule) of the statutes: at the appropriate place, insert 2
the following amounts for the purposes indicated:
- See PDF for table
20.485 (2) (tg) of the statutes is created to read:
(tg) Veterans court program.
Biennially, the amounts in the schedule 5
for the veterans court program under s. 45.46.
45.46 of the statutes is created to read:
745.46 Alternatives to incarceration grant program.
this section, "violent offender" means a person to whom one of the following applies:
(a) The person has been charged with or convicted of an offense in a pending 10
case and, during the course of the offense, the person carried, possessed, or used a 11
dangerous weapon; the person used force against another person; or a person died 12
or suffered serious bodily harm.
(b) The person has one or more prior convictions for a felony involving the use 14
or attempted use of force against another person with the intent to cause death or 15
serious bodily harm.
Program; projects. The department shall provide grants to counties to 2
enable them to establish and operate a program for veterans who are charged with 3
or convicted of crimes. The program shall include a suspended and deferred 4
prosecution project for veterans and a project based on principles of restorative 5
justice that provide alternatives to prosecution and incarceration for such veterans. 6
The department shall provide the grants from the appropriation under s. 20.485 (2) 7
A county shall be eligible for a grant to establish a program 9
under this section if all of the following apply:
(a) The program is designed to meet the needs of veterans who, in that county, 11
may be or have been charged with or who have been convicted of a crime.
(b) The program is designed to promote public safety, reduce prison and jail 13
populations, reduce prosecution and incarceration costs, reduce recidivism, and 14
improve the welfare of veterans' families by meeting the comprehensive needs of 15
(c) The program will provide services to veterans that are consistent with 17
evidence-based practices in substance abuse treatment and mental health 18
treatment, as determined by the department of health services.
(d) The program will provide mental health treatment services and treatment 20
for substance abuse through providers that are certified by the department of health 21
(e) The program will provide holistic treatment to veterans participating in the 23
program and will provide them services that may be needed, as determined under 24
the program, to do all of the following:
1. Eliminate or reduce their substance abuse.
2. Improve their mental health.
3. Help them achieve gainful employment.
4. Provide opportunities for their education or training.
5. Provide them stable housing.
6. Facilitate family reunification.
7. Help them address issues regarding payment of family support and other 7
(f) The program will provide intensive case management.
(g) The program will use graduated sanctions and incentives to promote 10
successful treatment for substance abuse.
(h) The program is designed to integrate all mental health services provided 12
by state and local government agencies and other organizations to a veteran 13
participating in the program. The program shall require regular communication 14
among all of the following persons:
1. The veteran's case manager.
2. Any person providing services to the veteran for treatment of substance 17
abuse or for mental health treatment.
3. Any person who is designated under the program to monitor the veteran's 19
compliance with his or her obligations under the program.
4. Any probation, extended supervision, and parole agent the veteran may 21
5. Any other person who is providing other social services to the veteran.
(i) The program will have specific eligibility criteria that shall specify that a 24
violent offender is not eligible to participate in the program.
(j) The program will require a veteran to pay a reasonable amount for any 2
substance abuse or mental health treatment he or she receives in the program, based 3
on his or her income and available assets.
(k) The program will assist a veteran in pursuing and using all possible 5
resources available through insurance and federal, state, and local aid programs, 6
including cash, vouchers, and direct services, to assist in payment for any treatment 7
for substance abuse or for any mental health treatment he or she receives in the 8
(L) The program will be developed with input from, and implemented in 10
collaboration with, all of the following:
1. One or more circuit court judges, the district attorney, the state public 12
defender, and local law enforcement officials who serve the county.
2. Each county agency that is responsible for providing social services, 14
including services relating to substance abuse, child welfare, mental health, and the 15
Wisconsin Works program.
3. The department of corrections, the department of children and families, and 17
the department of health services.
4. Private social services agencies that provide services to veterans in the 19