Some people in the Chippewa Valley have been given another chance after a run-in with law enforcement and now we know a program that kept them out of jail is set to continue.
Chippewa County's Criminal Justice Collaborating Council just received a grant worth more than $100,000 to continue its Treatment and Diversion program. It's meant to keep non-violent offenders struggling with addiction out of jail.
Instead, they enter treatment to maintain sobriety and other supports are offered like job and financial counseling.
"It really isn't soft on crime," CJCC coordinator Rose Baier told News 18. "It's a different way of looking at how we deal with criminal activity."
Of the 9 people who were in the program last year, 3 have graduated and officials say that's a big success. But it's not the only program of its kind in our area.
Eau Claire Co. law enforcement officers are part of a federal initiative that's using data to reduce jail populations and soon Chippewa County will be a part of that program as well.
Officials believe the work happening in Wisconsin will be used as a model for the rest of the country.