County Connection: ‘I’d still be on the streets if not for drug court’ | The Courier


Just a few years in the past, Missy Bakkestuen was homeless and residing out of a backpack. She’d crash on buddies’ couches when she may and sometimes obtained into bother with the police.

Bakkestuen had a substance use dysfunction and had been out and in of bother with the legislation for 10 years. However when a possibility to take part in La Crosse County’s Drug Therapy Court docket was given to Bakkestuen, and he or she took it.

She graduated from this system in 2020 and hasn’t appeared again since. Bakkestuen now manages Serenity Waters Spa in Holmen, and works for O’Brien Associates, serving to to rent loss prevention brokers for a significant retail chain throughout two states.

“A really massive a part of me believes I’d nonetheless be on the streets if not for drug court docket,” Bakkestuen mentioned lately.

Drug courts are particularly for individuals with substance use problems. They provide people the chance to enter long-term remedy and court docket supervision slightly than receiving a jail sentence.

La Crosse County operates each drug and OWI (working whereas intoxicated) courts that every yr maintain dozens of individuals out of jail and as a substitute put them on a path to restoration. Bakkestuen is likely one of the program’s many success tales. She vividly remembers the day she graduated from drug court docket.

“When you could have hated your self for thus a few years, and that second comes if you accomplish this massive factor, this life-changing second, it was unbelievable,” she mentioned. “My household, all people that was essential to me was there and to get a pat on the again from all of the individuals I assumed had been out to get me, the choose, police and probation officers, that was big.”


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