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With drugs comes the rise in the number of deaths, crimes, and even the number of incarcerated people. This is because these substances are illegal and they come with a lot of harmful health effects. We all know that drugs can lead a person to do bad things and this leads to, when they get caught, being put to jail.

In Washburn County, in northwestern Wisconsin (population 15,911), a local news outlet took a close look at the data behind the rising number of incarcerated individuals—and came up with an answer that surprised few local authorities. Substance abuse—and the drug possession charges associated with it.

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The examination by the LeaderRegister newspaper of eight years of data from the Washburn County jail and Washburn County circuit court showed that during 2016, the county jail held a record number of 875 people, compared to 596 in 2011—a 60 percent increase.

In 2018 the jail’s average daily population reached its highest number in eight years at 42 people. The jail has a rated capacity of 30.

To get some idea of what charges could be leading to the increase of those incarcerated in the jail, the LeaderRegister turned to county circuit court records.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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