La Crosse County Human Services Department
La Crosse County Human Services Department





Sections on This Page:
Adult Mental Health Services
Justice System (Youth and Adult)


Treatment Courts

Treatment Courts are specialized community courts designed to help stop the abuse of drugs, alcohol and related criminal activity. There are currently three treatment courts in La Crosse County: OWI Treatment Court, Drug Treatment Court, and Veterans Court. See below for additional information.
  1. OWI Treatment Court
    View policies and procedures for the OWI Treatment Court
    View program evaluation for the OWI Treatment Court

  2. Drug Treatment Court
    View policies and procedures for the Drug Treatment Court
    View program evaluation for the Drug Treatment Court

  3. La Crosse Area Veterans Court
    The La Crosse Area Veterans Court (LAVC) Program was established in 2010 to address the needs of veterans, especially combat veterans, in the court system. Veterans often have undiagnosed significant behavioral health problems related to their service. Veterans are often unable to effectively address these problems, resulting in them self-medicating with alcohol or drugs to alleviate their symptoms. Due to the stigma Veterans develop while in the military concerning their seeking help for behavioral health problems, they rarely admit, much less will even consider, that they have a behavioral health issue. Further, Veterans are often either reluctant or they refuse to seek assistance from behavioral health professionals available to them through the Veterans Administration. Many Veterans, therefore, have concluded their criminal cases without having addressed, in any way, the behavioral health issues they developed as a result of their military service and which may have been the basis for their offenses. These Veterans then pose a high risk to reoffend. Veterans who do reoffend often receive prison sentences as a result. The LAVC has a network of Veteran Mentors working in the La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program (LAVMP) who seek out and assist Veterans in need of help in identifying, addressing, and maintaining their behavioral health so that they may avoid reoffending in the future.

    Referral to LAVC: Veterans in the court system wishing to utilize the services of a trained Veterans Mentor, or who are interested in applying to the LAVC for the support a treatment court can provide after resolution of their charges, should review the referral process and the LAVC-LAVMP Policy & Procedures Manual available through this website. Additional information is also available at LAVMP. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation tasked with fundraising, recruitment of Veterans to become trained mentors, training of Veteran Mentors, and assigning trained Veteran Mentors to work with Veterans in the legal system.

    Veterans with a non-punitive discharge from military service who wish to assist Veterans suffering from behavioral health problems related to their military service by becoming a trained Veteran Mentor should contact the Executive Director of the LAVMP. Volunteer Veteran Mentors are needed in all areas serviced by LAVC and LAVMP.

    LAVC and LAVMP currently provide assistance to Veterans in La Crosse, Trempealeau, Jackson, Monroe, and Vernon Counties in Wisconsin, and in Houston and Winona Counties in Minnesota. Veterans outside these counties seeking the assistance of LAVC and/or LAVMP will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


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Juvenile Detention Facility


Western Regional Adolescent Services
We serve children lawfully detained in Wisconsin that are at least 10 years old but less than 18 years old.

Our facilities are located at:        Health and Human Services Building
                                                300 4th Street North, 4th Floor
                                                La Crosse, WI  54601



Secure Unit
Shelter Unit


Virtual Tour


Maps & Directions


Instructions on paperwork needed to detain children in Secure and Shelter Units 

Forms:  CORE Academy Unit (Community Option for Re-Engagement)
CORE Academy is a court ordered program for 10-17 year olds used as a placement option.  Youth can only be referred to the program through a court order at the recommendation of the County Social Worker and acceptance by the C.O.R.E. screening committee. The length of stay depends on how cooperative and committed the youth is to making changes in their life. The maximum stay allowed can be up to 365 days per wi stat. 938.34(3)(f) http://docs.legis.wi.gov/statutes/statutes/938/VI/34/3/f. The program is divided into 4 phases (orientation, skill building, community transition, and release planning).

CORE Academy is a family based, therapeutic treatment program that includes individual and family counseling. Parental involvement is a key component to the program and parents are expected to participate. Groups address drug and alcohol issues, criminal thinking, victim impact, independent living skills, and numerous other subjects. Youth receive full time education through the La Crosse School District.

For additional information on the CORE Academy, click on the links below:

  • CORE Academy Handbook for program description, benefits, rules on visitation and personal items, education/program phases, expectations, and referral form/signature page for youth, parent, and social worker.
  • CORE Academy Programming for a list of the programming included in the Academy.


Secure Unit

 

(608) 785-6407 

Names and Phone Numbers to Remember:
Facility Superintendent
David Steinberg
Phone: (608) 785-5542 
FAX: (608) 789-7870

Facility Supervisors
Jill Dunne
Matt Kuehl

Jail Inspector
Brad Hompe
770 Technology Way
2nd Floor
Chippewa Falls, WI  54729
Phone: (715) 738-3012
Fax: (715) 738-3029
Email:  BradleyHompe@wisconsin.gov

Visiting and Phone Calls

  • Juveniles may receive non-professional phone calls or visitors from 1pm – 4 pm and 6pm – 8pm daily.
  • Juveniles may call out during any scheduled free time, which may not coincide with these hours.
  • Professionals may call in or visit daily from 8:30am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 5:00pm.
  • Family visitors may include parents, step-parents, foster parents, grandparents and siblings. Visitors should be prepared to produce I.D. and may be subject to search by metal detector.
  • Visitors arriving during business hours should enter through the main entrance of the building. Visitors arriving after 5pm daily or on weekends or holidays must use the north entry to the secure elevator.

Secure Unit Protocols

  • All detained children’s hygiene and clothing needs are taken care of by the facility. They need bring nothing with them.
  • Children in secure may do schoolwork from their own classes if the work is brought to the facility.
  • Children may not have any personal belongings in secure, including but not limited to, makeup, books and magazines, hygiene products, snacks, etc.
  • Medications taken by residents shall be brought to the detention facility in their original labeled containers. Any medication not brought in the original labeled container may not be given to the child.

 

DAILY SCHEDULE (Monday - Friday)
6:00 a.m. Wake up, showers, and chores
7:00 a.m.   Breakfast, clean up
8:30 a.m.   SCHOOL
     
12:00 noon   LUNCH, clean up
1:00 p.m.   School resumes, Visiting
     
3:00 p.m.   School over, Quiet time
4:00 p.m.   Study Hour
5:00 p.m.   SUPPER and clean up
6:00 p.m.   Visiting hours, phone calls
     
8:00 p.m.   Recreation Time
9:00 p.m.   Snack
9:30 p.m.   Bedtime
10:00 p.m.   Lights Out
     
WEEKEND SCHEDULE (Saturday/Sunday)
6:00 a.m.   Wake up, breakfast, and chores
9:00 a.m.   Saturday: Chores
    Sunday: Free Time
12:00 noon   LUNCH and clean up
1:00 p.m.   Free Time (visits, phone calls)
2:00 p.m.   RECREATION
     
4:00 p.m.   Quiet time
5:00 p.m.   SUPPER and clean up
6:00 p.m.   Free Time (visits, phone calls)
     
8:00 p.m.   Recreation Time
9:00 p.m.   Snack
10:00p.m.   BEDTIME
     

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Shelter Unit

 

(608) 785-6435

Names and Phone Numbers to Remember:
Facility Superintendent
David Steinberg
Phone: (608) 785-5542 
FAX:  (608) 793-6546

Facility Supervisors
Jill Dunne
Matt Kuehl

Licensor
Tracy Hartman
610 Gibson Street Suite #2
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Phone:  (715) 930-1133
Email:  Hartman@wisconsin.gov

Visiting and Phone Calls

  • Juveniles may receive non-professional phone calls or visitors from 8:30am – Noon and 1:00 pm – 8:30 pm daily.
  • Juveniles may call out during any scheduled free time.
  • Family visitors may include parents, step-parents, foster parents, grandparents and siblings. Visitors should be prepared to produce I.D.
  • Visitors arriving during business hours should enter through the main entrance of the building. Visitors arriving after 5pm daily or on weekends or holidays must use the north entry to the secure elevator.

Shelter Unit Protocols

  • All detained children’s hygiene and clothing needs are taken care of by the facility. They need bring nothing with them.
  • Children in the Shelter Unit may do schoolwork from their own classes if the work is brought to the facility.
  • Children may have up to four changes of their own clothing. All other necessities are taken care of by the facility.
  • Medications taken by residents shall be brought to the Shelter Unit in their original labeled containers. Any medication not brought in the original labeled container may not be given to the child.

 

DAILY SCHEDULE (Monday - Friday)
6:00 a.m. Wake up, showers, and chores
7:00 a.m.   Breakfast, clean up
8:30 a.m.   SCHOOL
     
12:00 noon   LUNCH, clean up
1:00 p.m.   School resumes
     
3:00 p.m.   School over, Quiet time
4:00 p.m.   Study Hour
5:00 p.m.   SUPPER and clean up
6:00 p.m.   Free Time
     
8:00 p.m.   Recreation Time
9:00 p.m.   Snack
9:30 p.m.   Bedtime
10:00 p.m.   Lights Out
     
WEEKEND SCHEDULE (Saturday/Sunday)
6:00 a.m.   Wake up, breakfast, and chores
9:00 a.m.   Saturday: Chores
    Sunday: Free Time
12:00 noon   LUNCH and clean up
1:00 p.m.   Free Time
2:00 p.m.   RECREATION
     
4:00 p.m.   Quiet time
5:00 p.m.   SUPPER and clean up
6:00 p.m.   Free Time
     
8:00 p.m.   Recreation Time
9:00 p.m.   Snack
10:00p.m.   Late night on Friday and Saturday
12:00p.m.   BEDTIME
     



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Adult Community Services
(electronic monitoring, drug and alcohol testing, cognitive-behavioral groups, Ophelia's House)


The following services are provided to adults convicted of crimes in La Crosse County and are court ordered to the service.  If you need more information, contact La Crosse County Justice Support Services at 789-4895.

Electronic Monitoring:

  • Electronic monitoring is utilized by the courts as a tool to monitor behavior and increase public safety.  Electronic monitoring may be used for pretrial or sentenced clients, or as a sanction for rule violations in the treatment court.  View requirements and guidelines and cost for electronic monitoring.

    If you live outside of La Crosse County, please ask your social worker for permission to submit your electronic monitoring schedule by mail or fax.  The forms are below, but if you mail or fax them without prior permission they will not be accepted.  If you do have permission then print the appropriate form below and after completion send it to Justice Support Services, 333 Vine Street, Room 740, La Crosse, WI 54601.   You can also fax your completed form to 608-785-5715.

Intoxicated Driver Program:

  • The Intoxicated Driver Program is administered within the Justice Support Services Section of Human Services. Individuals convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI) and related offenses, as well as those referred by the Department of Transportation, are required to be assessed by this agency.  You can find out the status of your license by going to the Department of Transportation website and selecting online services on the main page, or follow this link:   http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/online.htm

Cognitive-Behavioral Groups:

  • Thinking for a Change (T4C) and Moving On – These are 2 separate 25 session cognitive-behavioral programs, T4C is for men and Moving On is for women. Both groups are facilitated in jail and in the community for men and women to develop social and problem solving skills to reduce involvement in the criminal justice system.

  • Driving With Care – This 33 session program is for people who have had four or more OWI convictions involving serious accident or injury.  The program objective is to reduce the frequency of drinking and driving, and to assist individuals to break their chemical dependence.  
  • SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) – This is a self-empowering addiction recovery support group for all types of addiction and addiction behaviors where participants learn tools for addiction recovery  based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups.  To visit the SMART Recovery website to access additional information, please click on the following link:  www.smartrecovery.org.
  • Seeking Safety is a model of counseling to help improve coping skills. This present-focused therapy is designed to help people attain safety from trauma, substance abuse, and/or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).     To visit the Seeking Safety website for additional information, click on the following link: http://www.seekingsafety.org/

Ophelia’s House:

Ophelia’s House is gender-specific programming designed to provide wraparound services for the women participating in the program.  They may include housing, and services such as Thinking for a Change, substance abuse services, trauma groups, employment assistance.   To visit the YWCA website for more information on Ophelia’s House, click on the following link:  http://www.ywca.org/site/c.duLRK4OSLqK8E/b.8267945/k.9A48/Opehlias_House.htm



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Juvenile Supervision

If a juvenile’s behavior leads to being charged with a crime the youth may enter the Juvenile Justice System either through Juvenile Detention if the charge warrants detention for the protection of the community or through a Referral from the police department. Either way the juvenile will meet with a Social Worker from La Crosse County’s Juvenile Justice Unit to recommend the proper course of action to the District Attorney’s Office (closure of case, deferred prosecution agreement, or further court involvement). 

A Deferred Prosecution Agreement is a written agreement entered into by the Juvenile, their parent(s)/guardian(s), and the social worker outlining the conditions and obligations to be met in order to defer the filing of a petition to the court.  Such conditions and obligations can include but are not limited to:  community service hours, restitution, mental health or Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) counseling, or other services determined necessary to meet the needs of the juvenile.  Should these conditions not be met, this agreement may be revoked and the court petitioned for further supervision.

Should it be recommended that the juvenile’s case go through court the juvenile may be placed on formal delinquency supervision.    Based on Wisconsin State Statutes the intent of the legislature is to promote a juvenile justice system capable of dealing with the problem of juvenile delinquency, a system that will protect the community, impose accountability for violations of law and equip juvenile offenders with competencies to live responsibly and productively. Delinquency supervision is managed by social workers through the Department of Human Services- Juvenile Justice Unit. It involves the protection of citizens from crime, holding youth accountable for their behavior and provision of treatment/services to build competencies. Social Workers oversee the behavior of juveniles in their home, school and community environments (supervision is similar in many situations to adult probation). There are a wide range of services and accountability options available to youth on formal delinquency supervision which vary anywhere from counseling services or cognitive behavioral group participation to tracking and monitoring programs to out-of-home placements if this becomes necessary for the protection of the community.  Out-of-home placements can range from a local foster home to CORE Academy or the Department of Corrections with several options between.

For further information on La Crosse County’s Juvenile Justice System and Process, please see the following links:

Additional Statewide information can be found at:



Current Initiatives in La Crosse County Juvenile Justice

In 2008 La Crosse County Human Services called upon the Carey Group to complete a thorough examination of La Crosse County Juvenile Justice.  The recommendations included the following:

  1. Creation of an inter-agency task force to study why La Crosse County arrests a disproportionate number of youth and determine if this is in the best interest of the public.  The study found that La Crosse County juvenile arrest rates were much higher than both the state and three like-sized counties.
  2. Seek assistance from the Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) with disproportionate minority arrest and confinement issues.  La Crosse County, as with the state of Wisconsin at the time, was found to have a disproportionate number of minority youth arrested and securely detained than their Caucasian counterparts.
  3. Completion of a risk assessment tool on every youth admitted to the La Crosse County Juvenile Justice System. 
  4. Development of enhanced capacity to use information systems to assess progress toward unit outcomes. 

Given the recommendations in the Carey Group Executive Summary on Juvenile Justice from November 2008, several system reform efforts have formed, with some funding assistance by the Department of Justice.  These efforts include:

Creation of the Juvenile Justice Arrest (JJA) and Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Task Force
As recommended by the Carey Group, this task force was formed with two concentrations in mind:

To study why La Crosse County arrests a disproportionate number of youth in comparison to
other Wisconsin counties.

To study racial disproportionality in the La Crosse County juvenile justice system. 

This task force includes representatives from all areas of the Juvenile Justice System including: Judiciary, Legal, Law Enforcement, Human Services, Schools, Local Youth Service Agencies, Charitable Foundations, and La Crosse County Citizens.  The group’s responsibility has been to review relevant data and policy surrounding the concentrations listed above; review information from the Annie Casey Foundation in relation to disproportionate minority arrest and confinement issues; determine “controllable” causes that could be addressed through changes in policies, procedures or programming and determine if any changes would be in the best interest of the public; and finally to recommend next steps.

As a result of the Arrest and DMC Task Force’s work, a final report was compiled outlining the findings and recommendations of the task force for further improvements within the Juvenile Justice System.  The report can be found here:  Full Report of the JJA & DMC Task Force dated September 9, 2014.

Creation of the Juvenile Justice Best Practice Stakeholder Group

As recommended in the September 9, 2014 Juvenile Justice Arrest and Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force final report, the Juvenile Justice Best Practice (JJBP) Stakeholder Group was formed to carry out the additional recommendations of the former task force.  The JJBP group commenced in August 2016 having accomplished the following:

Completion of a cross-system Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between La Crosse School District, La Crosse Police Department, and La Crosse County Juvenile Justice and Court Systems. This MOU outlined the common philosophy shared among Juvenile Justice System partners, including, but not limited to, the use of a newly developed System of Care aimed to provide a diversionary option for youth who engage in misbehavior.

Creation of La Crosse’s System of Care, a partnership between La Crosse School District and La Crosse County that offers School Resource Officers and School Administrators another means for intervention with youth who engage in misbehavior in schools beside arrest.  Although La Crosse School District is the first focus for potential referrals, it is anticipated that the System of Care concept will grow to be offered within the community as well as other county school districts.

The ability to bring a cross-system Racial Justice training to La Crosse by training 6 facilitators on the YWCA’s Racial Justice curriculum. The goal to bring parties from all parts of the Justice System together to have a dialogue and increase their knowledge on institutional racism and implicit bias. 

 

Identification by the Department of Justice (DOJ) as a Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Replication Site
As part of a statewide initiative, DOJ has recognized La Crosse County as a likely replication site for the state’s JDAI initiative.  As part of this identification, La Crosse County has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Wisconsin Department of Justice to develop a work plan that addresses the eight core strategies of juvenile justice system reform.  You can read more about JDAI at The Annie E. Casey Foundation website. 

Participant in the Wisconsin State Detention Risk Assessment Instrument (DRAI) Committee
The primary task of this state committee is to develop and implement an objective detention risk assessment process for Wisconsin and ensure its effectiveness in distinguishing between youth who pose a pre-adjudicative public safety risk or a risk of not appearing at their hearings, from youth who do not pose such risks.  Once developed, it is the expectation that those counties participating in this committee will actively implement the DRAI tool within their practice. La Crosse County along with the other participating counties have begun implementing this tool as a pilot test as of January 1, 2015.

Revision and Implementation of a Risk Assessment and Case Management Tool
In March 2013 La Crosse County Juvenile Justice purchased the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI) which is a validated risk assessment and case management tool.  Changes to policy and procedure have now been put into place to ensure all youth entering the Juvenile Justice System are being assessed using this risk assessment tool. 

Frequently Asked Questions in Juvenile Justice

What is delinquency supervision? Based on Wisconsin State Statutes the intent of the legislature is to promote a juvenile justice system capable of dealing with the problem of juvenile delinquency, a system that will protect the community, impose accountability for violations of law and equip juvenile offenders with competencies to live responsibly and productively. Delinquency supervision is managed by social workers through the Department of Human Services- Juvenile Justice Unit. It involves the protection of citizens from crime, holding youth accountable for their behavior and provision of treatment/services to build competencies. Social Workers oversee the behavior of juveniles in their home, school and community environments (supervision is similar in many situations to adult probation).

Why do I have to come to Human Services for being alleged delinquent? Per Wisconsin State Statues Human Services agencies are required to provide Intake and Disposition services to youth and families involved in the juvenile delinquency system. La Crosse County Juvenile Justice Unit is similar to what probation and parole is for adult criminal offenders. For more information on the process of juvenile court intake and disposition please refer to the Juvenile Justice Referral Process

What is on-call intake? La Crosse County Juvenile Justice provides intake services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the purpose of screening juveniles taken into custody and not released. Intake Workers determine whether a juvenile should be held in juvenile detention (secure or non-secure). Law enforcement does not have direct authority in the placement of juveniles in detention as they have with adults in jail determination. Juvenile detention must be authorized by an intake worker.

What can I do if my child is out of control? If a child is out of control, and a parent(s) is in need of assistance, they have several options. Parent(s) may look into services through various agencies throughout the community including but not limited to, individual counseling, family counseling, group programs, psychiatry (medication), etc. Should outside professional help prove not effective, parent(s) may contact Human Services and request assistance in seeing a social worker to determine if their situation meets state law and County requirements/criteria for JIPS (Juvenile in Need of Protection and Services) jurisdiction. Court proceedings could take place and a parent(s) would need to be willing to sign a petition to the facts that meet the requirements/criteria for JIPS jurisdiction. Should a Judge find that the youth is in need of protection or services, the youth will be placed on JIPS Supervision, and a social worker will manage the case and arrange services for the youth and family to best meet their needs. The social worker will also have the ability to hold the youth accountable for not following the court’s JIPS order.

How can my child be charged with a crime, if no one talked to me? Law enforcement does have the ability to meet with and discuss a youth’s possible involvement in a criminal act without a parent being present. As a result, it is possible that a juvenile can be alleged delinquent for a criminal offense and referred to the Department without a parent’s knowledge until notified of an Intake Inquiry.

How come a 17 year old can be charged in adult court on a criminal offense, but is kept in juvenile court for missing school? This type of situation is not uncommon, but this circumstance is a result of Wisconsin State Law. Truancy is not a criminal offense and would fall under the jurisdiction of JIPS (Juvenile in Need of Protection or Services). Youth ages 17 and above are only dealt with in adult criminal court for criminal offenses.  Attendance in school is mandatory unit the age of 18 by State law.

How does adjudication as a juvenile affect my record/future? As a juvenile, a youth’s criminal record is considered confidential. In applying for employment it is not required that a juvenile indicate on a job application that they have been adjudicated (convicted) for a felony or any other offense. A juvenile should be aware that their juvenile record can be used for court matters when the juvenile becomes an adult and there are certain circumstances in which the juvenile’s criminal record may be attainable by the United States Government/Military. The United States Military typically requires signed releases of information to inquire about juvenile delinquency records.

Why does my child have to have an attorney? Children under the age of 15 are required by state law to be represented by an attorney in juvenile court proceedings. Children 15 years of age and older may decline assignment of an attorney.

Do I need an attorney for an Intake Inquiry? No. You may have an attorney at an Intake Inquiry Interview, but it is not required.

What happens if we decline to be involved in an Intake Inquiry Interview and/or Pre-Trial Conference? Should a youth decline involvement in an Intake Inquiry Interview, the juvenile referral (police report), will be submitted to the District Attorney’s office for review, determination of and/or possible prosecution in juvenile court. A Pre-Trial Conference is an opportunity for the alleged juvenile and his/her attorney to discuss the case with the District Attorney’s office and determine the route in which the case will be handled. Failure to attend a Pre-Trial Conference only forfeits the juvenile’s opportunity to discuss the possibility of other options.

Can I represent my child in court instead of an attorney? Parents are allowed at and may take the opportunity to address the court with information or concerns they have regarding the interest of their child at juvenile court proceedings, but are not allowed to be legal representation for their child.

Why can’t I control what happens with my child and his/her attorney? A juvenile has the right to an attorney. The attorney assigned to a juvenile case is there to represent the juvenile and not the juvenile’s parent(s). Should a juvenile not want their parent(s) involved with his/her juvenile court defense, the attorney has to abide by their client’s request. Parent(s), on their own, may inform the court of their opinions, concerns, or other information they have regarding the case, including what they would like to see happen with their child. A parent can retain their own attorney at their own expense.

Can I say anything at a court hearing? Parent(s) are allowed at juvenile court hearings and may address the court with information and concerns they have regarding the welfare and disposition of their child.

As a parent, should I have an attorney? Parent(s) are not required to have an attorney for juvenile court matters. The decision as a parent to attain an attorney is a personal decision.

Can you get my child treatment for drug use? La Crosse County Juvenile Justice Unit can require youth on delinquency supervision or JIPS supervision to participate and cooperate with Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) treatment if such issues are related to the delinquent/uncontrollable behavior of a youth. The Department can refer youth and parents to AODA treatment providers should the youth not be on supervision with the Department, yet the Department would be unable to hold the youth accountable for not following through with treatment.
AODA treatment can include outpatient individual counseling, outpatient family counseling, outpatient group programming, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), short-term in-patient treatment, and long-term in-patient treatment when appropriate.

Can I get my child into AODA in-patient treatment without his/her agreeing? Yes, although the process can be difficult. Parents may attempt to have their youth placed in AODA In-Patient Treatment on an involuntary basis through AODA In-Patient facilities, yet it is the facility’s decision based on their own evaluation as to whether a youth is admitted into such a placement. Also, parents may attempt to have their youth committed involuntarily into AODA In-Patient Treatment through the court system. A commitment typically relies on what is called a Three Party Petition submitted to La Crosse County Court/Intervention Services, who in turn determines whether the petition meets State law criteria for AODA In-Patient Commitment. Should the petition be determined appropriate the Court/Intervention Department submits the petition to La Crosse County Corporation Counsel for court arrangements. A Judge must determine if there is sufficient information to suggest that a commitment is necessary.

Do we still have to pay juvenile detention bills or public defender fees if our child is not found delinquent? Why? Yes. Whether a child is adjudicated delinquent or not within the juvenile court system, if a child had the services of an attorney, such services require payment. If a child spent time in juvenile detention, being placed in such a facility and the services require payment.

How can I as a parent be held responsible/liable for damages, when it has already been established that I cannot control my kid? Per state law parent(s) may be liable for damages to property or loss of property, as well as personal injury to a victim due to the actions of their child. The amount of recovery from parent(s) depends upon which statue applies to the delinquent act. Whether a parent(s) has control over a child or not, the parent(s) is still considered responsible for their child, and the actions of their child.

How do I get my child placed outside my home? La Crosse County Juvenile Justice Unit will not recommend that a child be placed outside of their parental home unless certain criteria are established, and it is in the best interest of the child. Children are not placed in alternate care without substantial attempts at retaining a child in their parental home through the use of available services, resources, and treatment. Additionally state law requires the Department to first consider the home of a relative when considering out-of-home placement of a child.  La Crosse County Juvenile Justice promotes a community based approach to juvenile delinquency.

How can I get my kid into Boot-Camp? Currently, there are no “boot camps” in the State of Wisconsin that La Crosse County Juvenile Justice Unit can require a youth to attend.  On a voluntary basis, youth can enter the Wisconsin Challenge Academy in Wisconsin, which is located at Fort McCoy. 

Why can’t my kid be detained if I want him/her to be? An Intake Worker must follow State Statutes and have jurisdiction to place a youth in juvenile detention upon the request of law enforcement. Parents do not have authority to put their children in juvenile detention per Wisconsin Law.

Why can’t my kid be placed in secure juvenile detention rather than non-secure juvenile detention? Juvenile detention is not considered a place of punishment in the delinquency system, other than, for the use of short-term detentions (72-hour holds) administered by a Social Worker for a youth violating a court ordered condition, or through the use of sanctions ordered by a judge for a youth violating a court ordered condition. When a youth is placed in juvenile detention as a result of a criminal offense (being alleged delinquent), an Intake Worker assesses the situation, taking into account court policy, as to whether a youth has committed a serious enough offense to hold in secure juvenile detention for the protection of the community. Minor offenses result in non-secure juvenile detention placement, or the youth is not detained at all.

At what age can my child be emancipated? In the state of Wisconsin, emancipation is not available at any age.

How do I get restitution as a victim in a juvenile case? Victims should receive notice of juvenile hearings and they have the right to make a statement to the court regarding their circumstances. Victims receive a Victim Impact Statement form in the mail. Through the use of the form, victims indicate how this situation has affected them, and they can indicate a restitution amount for any personal injury, property damage or loss. Through juvenile supervision, whether informal or formal, juveniles will be required to pay restitution to the victim(s). Parents may also be required to pay restitution for the actions of their child. Juveniles have the length of their juvenile supervision to pay the requested restitution. Victims do have the right to pursue the restitution in Civil Court. Juveniles are required to pay restitution to the County, and the County sends the restitution money to the victim. Also available to assist crime victims is Crime Victim Compensation that can be reached by calling 1-800-446-6564.





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Human Services Section Web Pages
Aging & Disability Resource CenterAging & Disability Resource Center Family & Children'sFamily & Children's
Integrated Support & Recovery ServicesIntegrated Support & Recovery Services Justice Support ServicesJustice Support Services
Western Region for Economic AssistanceWestern Region for Economic Assistance   

La Crosse County Human Services Department     300 4th Street North     La Crosse, WI 54601     608-784-HELP (4357)

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La Crosse County website