Rep. Dave Considine column: Shifting to a restorative model

Over the past twenty years, Wisconsin’s prison population has grown twenty percent. This growing prison population puts a strain on our budget and the people of Wisconsin. Instead of heavily funding prisons we need to fund restorative programs like the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program. Wisconsin’s TAD program allows District Attorneys or judges to offer off enders the opportunity to enter into voluntary substance abuse treatment, case management, or another risk reduction program as a safe alternative to jail or prison. TAD was implemented in 2005 in Wisconsin and has had a positive impact on many lives. As a member of the Committee on Mental Health, I recognize the trauma that many off enders have faced in their life that led them down the wrong path. I commend Governor Evers’ proposed investment in TAD so we can continue to more towards a restorative criminal justice system.

Considine: Governor Nelson, Milli Zantow, and Earth Day

Wisconsin’s former Governor and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a day for Americans to speak out about preserving the environment and the crises that our fragile environment faces. This year as we’re beginning to return to “normal” from COVID-19 I encourage you to observe and participate in an Earth Day celebration. This may include a masked and socially distanced park clean up, planting something in your garden, taking a walk to discover native plants, or learning about recycling.