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Wisconsin probation officer battling drug charges, addiction

It's no secret that drug addiction has the power to ruin lives. Drug use can greatly affect personal and professional judgment, leading people to make poor decisions that lead to criminal charges and other major problems. Unfortunately, many people convicted of drug crimes aren't given the resources to overcome their addictions and have a successful future. And incarceration without effective treatment often leads to more criminal behavior.

A woman who has witnessed the effects of drug abuse firsthand is now facing her own battles with addiction. The 41-year-old Wisconsin Department of Corrections officer has been charged with felony drug possession, burglary and misconduct in office. A criminal complaint alleges that she broke into the home of a person on probation, searching for pain medication. She's also accused of stealing Vicodin from a relative and another woman, even taking it from probationers while they were taking urine tests during visits to her office.

Although she hasn't been convicted or even faced the charges against her in court, she was fired from her job as a probation officer in December. A news release about her termination said her behavior affected the public's trust in the Department of Corrections. The woman's case was also highly publicized because she is the wife of Marathon County's sheriff.

While the publicity could be very damaging to the woman's case, it also provided an outlet for her attorney to explain that his client had a serious addiction problem but was cooperating with authorities. Just as with alcoholism, attitudes about drug addiction may be changing. The public appears to be slowly recognizing that addiction should be treated as an illness more than a crime. If the former agent's attorney can successfully argue that his client would benefit from a drug treatment program, she'll have a better shot at recovering, both physically and professionally.

Source: WJJQ.com, "Probation Officer Terminated; Court Appearance Postponed," Dec. 28, 2012

  • Our firm takes a serious, understanding approach to the defense of drug crimes. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Milwaukee drug crimes page.

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