Many county residents are familiar with the DWI Court that helps prevent repeat offenses. This is done through a program that includes, but is not limited to, behavior therapy, enhancement of life skills, education, family counseling related to alcohol abuse and job training.

County commissioners are pleased with the success of this program in recent years in Otter Tail County.

On Feb. 9 County Probation Director Mike Schommer met with commissioners and expressed the need for a similar program to serve clients who struggle with drug use.

To that end, Schommer requested that Otter Tail County apply for a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant to begin a Drug Court program in the county. His request was unanimously approved by the five-person county board.

One goal of the program is to help judges, prosecutors, defense counsel and law enforcement reduce drug use, crime and unnecessary incarceration.

The program, if funding is provided to Otter Tail County, will include technical assistance to develop and implement drug courts. This would include treatment programs, integration of services and transitional services.

Schommer was hired as county probation director in 2019.

He previously had extensive experience working with adults under intense supervision, juveniles in detention facilities, and with the Veterans Court and Drug Court in Clay County. 

Schommer served in the Department of Corrections (DOC) Central Office in St. Paul and earned his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership. In 2012, Schommer was named ‘Minnesota Corrections Agent of the Year’.