The Iowa County court ordered programs is one of the most successful programs of its type in the state. The court ordered program is a Non-traditional form of justice. As the name implies it is directed toward first time offenders ages 12 to 17 years. It is an early intervention program that gives teenage first offenders the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions. Upon completion of their court ordered program sentence the record of the offense is cleared. Offenders are referred to the program through Social Services Juvenal Intake, school officials, law enforcement officers, and the county judicial system. The offenses court ordered program hears are non-violent, misdemeanor offenses such as: Truancy, Disorderly Conduct, Criminal Damage to Property, Retail Theft, etc. All offenders must admit their guilt in order to qualify for court ordered programs. Sentencing is done by a jury of peers, ie other teens. All offenses have written guidelines with minimum and maximum sentences for each offense. The mandatory portion of each sentence is 3 to 6 jury terms, 10 to 30 hours of community service and letters of apology or essays. Many other forms of corrective punishment can be added if the jury feels it is appropriate, such as restitution, counseling, curfews, home grounding. The only adult volunteer for a sentencing is the judge. The volunteers and previous offenders are the attorney's, clerk, bailiff and jurors.
The court ordered program no longer takes Underage Alcohol violators, but we do offer a program for 1st offenders to save them from license suspension. They will still have the conviction but by attending a five week education program, they will not loose their driving privileges.
The goal of the program is to teach responsible behavior to our teens. The young adults in Iowa County are very fortunate to have a Judge and County Board who believe that everyone deserves a second chance.
Community Service hours are also coordinated through the court ordered program Office. Anyone court ordered to community service reports to this office for placement and supervision.
In January, 2002 we started to track Court Ordered Community Service. Judge Dyke asked me if I would work with non profit organizations in the county to coordinate and supervise community service.
The original goal of this was to have anyone whether it be juvenile from Social Services, adults from Probation/Parole or Deferred Prosecution Agreements from the District Attorney’s office, would be assigned a work site from this office. Social Services and Probation/Parole prefer to handle most of their cases. I do receive a small number of referrals from these agencies. The District Attorney’s Office just started copying me with DPA’s approximately five months ago. Upon receipt of DPA’s I send a letter to the defendants giving them 10 days in which to contact me, so I can assign them to a work site. I do a brief assessment of their situations. I need to find out work schedules if they are employed, access to a vehicle, valid DL, what the charges are so I don’t assign them to someplace inappropriate, etc.
I work with non profits organizations throughout the county to get these people working and compliant with their DPA’s. Most DPA’s allow the individuals 12 to 18 months to comply. I encourage them to complete those hours within a month or two of the agreement and we are having very positive results.
From this office, I seek out work sites, assign workers to sites, supervise to the completion and notify the District Attorney’s Office upon completion of community service.
I have some work sites that we provide almost constant workers for.
Iowa County Humane Society
Prairie Restoration Program
In 2004 a group of professionals including law enforcement, court personnel, educators and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) counselors met to put together a program to respond to the underage alcohol possession/ consumption violations that were occurring in the county. This group came up with a response that will suspend the offender’s driving privilege for 90 days upon conviction for a first offense underage possession/consumption of alcohol in addition to the fines imposed by the citation. The offender is allowed a one-time opportunity to avoid the driver’s license suspension by successfully completing an approved underage alcohol and other drug education course.
Those having received a citation for first offense underage possession/ consumption of alcohol will be given an opportunity, prior to appearing before the Judge, to receive information regarding available programs and will be provided with enrollment forms if they are interested in participating in the program.
Upon conviction, the Judge will impose but stay the driver’s license suspension for thirty (30) days to provide an opportunity to enroll in the approved course. Failure to complete the enrollment within thirty days or to complete the course successfully when scheduled will result in a Court ordered 90 day suspension of one’s driving privilege.
Any questions regarding the Underage Alcohol Education Program may be directed to Elizabeth Platt (608) 930-9816.
How does a juvenile offender get involved in court ordered programs? The Courts, Juvenile Intake, direct referral from a law enforcement agency and schools.
What are court ordered programs? This program offers first offenders an alternative to Juvenile Court. The offender must admit their guilt in order to participate in court ordered programs. A jury of their peers will sentence them. Referrals can come from Juvenile Intake, Law Enforcement Officers, School Officials or through the Courts.
Who is it for? The program serves youth ages 12-17 who commit first-time, Misdemeanor crimes AND for youth interested in becoming a volunteer juror, attorney, bailiff or clerk.
What types of offenses? Offenses that court ordered programs will handle include theft, receiving or concealing stolen property, trespassing, obstructing, disorderly conduct, damage to property, possession of tobacco, shoplifting, truancy, curfew, GDL violations and other offenses as appropriate. Cases will be evaluated on an individual basis.
If I volunteer, what will I do? After you receive training you could serve as a jury member, bailiff, clerk, defense attorney or prosecuting attorney.
What are the sentences? Future participation on the court ordered programs jury, community service and essays or letters of apology are mandatory conditions of a sentence. Other conditions of a sentence could include, restitution, fines, community or individual projects, daily journals, home curfews.
When are the court ordered program sessions? Court is held the second Wednesday evenings of every month, at the Iowa County Courthouse, in the Courtroom. If referrals are higher court may by held on the fourth Wednesday evening too.
Who benefits? Juvenile offender – if there is compliance with the court’s sentence he or she will have succeeded in turning the offense into something useful. Parents they are no longer held totally accountable, the juvenile becomes responsible for his or her actions. Community – receives benefits from projects & community service, sees teens being held accountable. Court – reduces juvenile court costs and provides a sentence that is tailored to the offender and the offense. Youth Volunteers – gain a sense of responsibility, help encourage peers to stop behaviors that reflect on all teens, and provides an opportunity to have valuable input in the justice system. Upon completion of the court ordered program Sentence, citations will be dismissed or Juvenile Referrals will be closed with no records of the offense. This gives the youth an opportunity to start clean and hopefully make better decisions.
How do I become involved? You can call Tammy Hill, at (608) 930-9825, to become involved or to learn more about the program.
222 N. Iowa St.
Dodgeville, WI 53533
Phone - (608) 935-0387