Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

2019 County Budget & Initiatives: Public Safety

In county government, when we find a model that works - in this case improving public safety, preventing deaths, and keeping individuals from coming back into the criminal justice system - it’s imperative we invest in it.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

My budget for 2019 makes county government’s largest commitment yet to treatment for those burdened by heroin addiction. I’m including $125,000 for an expansion of the Jail to Recovery and Emergency Department to Recovery, and Pregnancy to Recovery programs all run by Safe Communities.


Line graph depicting the number of opioid deaths for opioid deaths involving opioids other than heroin and opoid deaths involving heroin between 2003 and 2016. In recent years, heroin involvement in opioid-involved deaths increased. Since 2003, prescription opioids have driven the opioid epidemic in Dane County, Wisconsin, and the United States. While the majority of opioid deaths still involve prescroption opioids, we see more heroin involvement in recent years. From 2003 to 2005, 1 in 7 opioid deaths involved heroin. From 2014 to 2016, 1 in 2 opioid deaths involved heroin.

Juvenile Corrections

This budget is also mindful of recent state mandated changes at how juvenile corrections is administered. In the coming years, the state is asking counties to take on a greater role and potentially setting up regional juvenile justice facilities. This budget includes just under $3-million for the necessary planning, design, and initial work to remodel and expand Dane County’s Juvenile Detention in anticipation for this change.

Under state legislation adopted last session, if this reorganization moves forward statewide, participating counties would be able to implement regional programming with a significant amount of state financial assistance. I’m also funding an additional juvenile justice worker in this budget to help Juvenile Court Director John Bauman’s successful home detention program better meet current caseloads in 2019.