For Immediate Release Contact: Rep. Todd Novak
February 18, 2019 (608) 266-7502
Rep. Novak Announces Support for Criminal Justice Reform
Assembly Republicans Announce Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives for Upcoming State Budget
MADISON –Rep. Todd Novak (Dodgeville) joined Assembly Republicans in announcing his support for criminal justice initiatives in the upcoming State Budget. Today’s announcement included support for improvements across all aspects of Wisconsin’s criminal justice system.
“Governor Evers and I agree that criminal justice reform is something that is desperately needed in Wisconsin,” said Novak. “This is another excellent opportunity for bipartisan policymaking.”
Novak supports initiatives that ensure all citizens affected by our criminal justice system have access to a fair and speedy trial. These include an increase of the private bar rate to better recruit and retain private attorneys to provide representation, and funding additional Assistant District Attorney (ADA) positions.
The announcement also included support for restoration programs like Treatment Alternative and Diversion (TAD) aimed at keeping non-violent offenders out of jail while treating the underlying addiction. Programs like these have been proven to reduce prison populations and recidivism. Graduates of these programs are nine times less likely than non-graduates to return to prison.
“The Governor and I agree that more needs to be done to reduce the prison population in our state,” said Novak. “Investments in TAD programs provide an alternative to prison while saving valuable state resources.”
Support was expressed for additional investment in prisoner reentry programs to help individuals involved in our criminal justice system become productive, self-sufficient members of society. Throughout 2017 and 2018, 12,620 individuals were released from prison. Novak notes that increased resources for mental health and addiction support and skills training is a good investment to aid in this transition and reduce recidivism.