UPDATE: Wis. candidate defends program for abusive parents

UPDATED Wednesday, April 9, 2014 ---- 2:47 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is defending a Dane County diversion program for certain parents accused of child abuse, saying it keeps children safe and helps adults be better parents.

Ozanne said Wednesday the program is about innovation and effectiveness. He says he takes issue with those who construe the program as being soft on child abusers.

The program allows parents who meet certain requirements to avoid charges if they participate in the program. It could include intensive parenting classes, counseling and community service.

Ozanne says educating parents helps break the cycle of violence

Ozanne is a Democrat running for state attorney general. The other two Democrats and a Republican who are running all say the most important issue with child abuse is making sure children are safe.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Wednesday, April 9, 2014 --- 9:43 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is being criticized by his fellow candidates for Wisconsin attorney general for a Dane County diversion program that allows parents who use corporal punishment to avoid child abuse charges.

The program aims to be sensitive to cultures where physical discipline remains acceptable. A Wisconsin State Journal report says of the program's 20 offenders, 10 are black, nine are white and one's Asian.

Ozanne's campaign tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the goal is to find the best ways to keep kids safe.

Ozanne will likely be asked about the program Wednesday at the Milwaukee Press Club.

The other candidates in the race are two Democrats -- state Rep. Jon Richards and Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ -- and Republican Brad Schimel, the Waukesha County district attorney. All say Ozanne's program is too soft on child abuse.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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