In 2001, Bayfield County formed a Criminal Justice Stakeholders Council comprised of key players from every level of the community – law enforcement, judge, district attorney, clerk of court, jail administration, victim advocates, school personnel, tribal leaders, criminal defense lawyers, human services, mental health and AODA providers, UW-extension personnel, county board members, and interested citizens. The mission of the council is to work cooperatively to make recommendations regarding the Criminal Justice System in Bayfield County.
The driving force behind this initiative is the financial burden that crime costs our community. Inevitable increases in our local jail population resulted in Bayfield County building a new 72-bed jail in 2004. The Criminal Justice Council and Bayfield County residents are committed to extending the life of our current jail facility as long as possible with programming and alternatives to jail that are proven effective and do not compromise the safety of our community.
Criminal Justice Coordinator
Bayfield County hired a criminal justice coordinator in April 2005. The coordinator is responsible for coordinating and carrying out directives of the Criminal Justice Council. The criminal justice coordinator develops programs that are proven to be effective in changing the behavior and revolving-door effect we have seen with our repeat offenders. The coordinator also develops alternatives to incarceration, also commonly known as diversion programs that provide a level of intervention and supervision without increasing risk to the public. Dozens of grants have been written, interventions have been researched, and jail programs have been developed and implemented which have reduced the number of repeat offenders in the county.