Jessica Caldwell knows the story she’d like to tell about herself, and the short version goes like this:
Woman fights against domestic abuse and drug addiction and WINS.
Caldwell and a roomful of her supporters celebrated her success in a Kenosha County courtroom recently, when she became the latest graduate of the county’s Treatment Court program.
While she may have made it sound simple, getting to where she is today did not happen overnight.
In awarding Caldwell’s diploma and ending the court action against her, Judge David Wilk noted that she began in the Treatment Court program in November 2020. Since then, he said, she engaged in more than 120 weeks of therapy, treatment, meetings and counseling, and she submitted 249 substance free drug test samples.
The result of this work: As of her commencement, Caldwell was 108 weeks substance free.
“I feel really good,” Caldwell said. “I feel completely different. This program helped me a lot. I can’t imagine it not helping anybody.”
The Kenosha County Treatment Court is an intervention program available to adult defendants who have pleaded guilty to one more crimes related to their severe and persistent mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
Treatment intervention is administered by the judge and a team of Treatment Court professionals, with the court seeking to provide a programming and supervision that helps to support and maintain a stable life free from alcohol and illegal drugs.
Brian Bynsdorp, Treatment Court coordinator, said Caldwell was a model participant for much of her time in the program.
“There were struggles at the start, but she found her way,” Bynsdorp said, echoing a common theme among court participants. “When entering the program, she had lost her children, and many of her relationships had been damaged due to drug use, hurdles surrounding domestic violence, and a series of criminal choices. Over the last two-plus years, she did the hard work and has come a very long way, certainly regaining her children being the high point for her. She can now be there for them as a mother, and also as an example.”
Caldwell, who said she was a victim of domestic violence for many years, said Treatment Court afforded her the opportunity to rise above her addiction issues and other challenges.
“I took my life back and got sober,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of healing, that’s for sure.”
More information about the Kenosha County Treatment Court, including court contacts, is available by contacting Brian Bynsdorp, Treatment Court Coordinator at Brian.Bynsdorp@kenoshacounty.org or 262-605-6646. If you or someone you care about is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.