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Data Shows Growing Disparity in Drug Arrests throughout State

Posted on in Drug Crimes

Wisconsin drug laws, Wisconsin defense attorneySince the inception of the “War on Crime,” drug arrests have steadily increased across the nation – until recently. Some states have started to lean more toward treatment, rather than punishment. And, as indicated by data from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the number of drug arrests in Wisconsin have decreased dramatically over the last four years. Unfortunately, the decrease does not mean that the war is finally coming to an end. In fact, statistics for the rest of the state would indicate that quite the opposite may be true.

Milwaukee Arrests Down but Rest of State Is Up

Between 2010 and 20014, drug arrests have gone down by nearly 50 percent in the city of Milwaukee (6,000 to less than 3,300). But the rest of the state has actually seen an 11 percent increase over that same time period, which amounts to approximately 2,200 more arrests each year. When examining the reasons behind the decrease in Milwaukee and the potential increases throughout the rest of the state, there are a number of possible factors – but none of them include treating drug addiction like an illness instead of a crime.

Milwaukee Police Focusing on Violent Crimes

According to USA Today, Milwaukee police have made a conscious effort to steer away from drug arrests and to focus more on violent crimes. Essentially, they have shifted their resources and are now concentrating more on high-end dealers and those who have allegedly committed crimes against humanity. But nowhere in their analysis did the media outlet mention an increased focus on helping alleged drug users seek and complete any form of rehabilitation or treatment.

As far as why there has been an increase throughout the rest of the state, officials cited an increase opiate addiction. No additional reasons were given, but the lack of understanding of addiction seems quite clear, especially since little has changed for those arrested on drug charges.

Drug Charges Still Carry Heavy Penalties

Regardless of the type of drug, or the level of addition, penalties for drug crimes remain especially heavy throughout the state of Wisconsin. A first offense is still a misdemeanor, unless the individual is eligible for a conditional release. But even then, there are still hefty fines, community service, employment requirements, drug tests, and curfews that must be adhered to in order to have the charges dismissed. Failure to complete the process could have additional penalties because the individual is on probation.

Rather than focus on punishment, probationary periods, and drug tests, law enforcement needs to view drug addiction as an illness. Treatment that is geared for success and factors in the high risk of relapse early on needs to be implemented and used by law enforcement. And, above all, it should not scar someone’s criminal record and narrow their chances in life once the treatment is complete.

Arrested on a Drug Charge? Get the Legal Defense You Deserve

If you or someone you love has been arrested on a drug charge, do not assume that you will be treated fairly. Instead, ensure you have someone there, protecting your rights. Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP have more than 40 years of experience and a strong history of satisfactory outcomes. Get the quality legal defense you deserve. Contact our skilled Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys and schedule your consultation. Call 414-271-1440 today.






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