You may have heard about Safer Wisconsin and that it has something to do with law enforcement, but you might not have gotten the details yet. Basically, Safer Wisconsin is a package of proposed criminal justice reforms that mix treatment for drug addiction and mental illness with post-incarceration re-entry programs. On the other hand, Safer Wisconsin would also make it easier for the police to confiscate people’s firearms and prosecutors to charge individuals with obstruction of justice, among other things.
Nonpolice help for addiction, illness
According to Wisconsin Public Radio, part of the Safer Wisconsin plan is to expand resources available to people dealing struggling with mental illness and drug addiction, two major factors in many criminal offenses. It would allocate $15 million to create crisis response teams that would deal with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. To many experts, these teams would lead to better outcomes in these cases than having police officers handle them. Another $10 million would go toward programs to help people successfully re-enter society after serving a prison sentence.
Gun confiscation powers
Another part of Safer Wisconsin would make it easier for the authorities to confiscate firearms. For example, it would give judges the power to issue an order to have police seize a person’s guns if the judge believes the owner is a potential threat to themselves or others. In addition, more crimes would be classified as felonies, leading to more people losing their right to own or possess firearms.
It sounds like Safer Wisconsin would be a mix of ways to help residents avoid prison on OWI and other charges and a plan to increase police powers. Potential changes to the law like this could affect how you might defend yourself against criminal charges someday.