By Scott Behrens
There’s a new program helping former drug addicts stay out of jail. In 2016, around 1,300 people were booked in the La Crosse County jail on drug charges. There are currently 21 participants in the Fresh Start program. Inmates who have a history of substance abuse and a mental health disorder can work with Fresh Start to keep clean and stay healthy when they’re released from jail. Tristine Bauman, a social worker with Fresh Start, often works with people who are at rock bottom “Most people that we come across when we screen for the program have lost hope. They feel that the doors have been closed so many times and they don’t have any support or anybody rooting for them,” Bauman said. Her team at Fresh Start shows up-with a helping hand.