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Eau Claire drug court celebrates 10th year

The Eau Claire County Drug Treatment Court program celebrated its 10th anniversary during a ceremony attended by about 75 people at the courthouse on Nov. 12. Members of the drug court team, from right to left: Tessa Sarauer, Dana Smetana, Mike Steuer, Kathy Benson, Kristi Gruebele, Nikki Kulibert, Judge Michael A. Schmuacher, Judge Lisa K. Stark, who presided over the drug court before being elected to the Court of Appeals, Pat Isenberger, and Colleen Kastel.
The Eau Claire County Drug Treatment Court program celebrated its 10th anniversary during a ceremony attended by about 75 people at the courthouse on Nov. 12. Members of the drug court team, from right to left: Tessa Sarauer, Dana Smetana, Mike Steuer, Kathy Benson, Kristi Gruebele, Nikki Kulibert, Judge Michael A. Schmuacher, Judge Lisa K. Stark, who presided over the drug court before being elected to the Court of Appeals, Pat Isenberger, and Colleen Kastel.

The Eau Claire County drug treatment court program celebrated its 10th anniversary with a ceremony at the courthouse that drew a crowd of about 75 people on Nov. 12.

About 80 people have been graduated from the program since its inception, drug treatment court supervisor Melissa Ives told WEAU-TV, which covered the event.

Drug court can be demanding due to its rigorous standards and drug monitoring requirements, but there's a high success rate for those to do graduate, Ives said.

"Some folks quite frankly would rather sit in jail than go through the drug court program, simply because you're talking about a lot of treatment, a lot of accountability as far as frequent and random drug testing, you're just talking a lot about requirements in general, the need to meet with the case manager, to meet with the Department of Corrections agent. There's a lot of work involved in being in a drug court," Ives told WEAU.

Eau Claire County Circuit Court Judge Michael A. Schumacher, who presides over the drug court, said that drug treatment court is a system that addresses the way participants think and puts their focus on achieving life goals.

"If we can change the way people think, we can change the way they feel, and if you can change the way they feel, then you can change the way they behave. What we found is that treatment and other things like drug court do a much better job of stopping the behavior," Schumacher said. 

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