Drug Recovery Court Up & Running :: Get to Know Marathon County’s New Court Coordinator, Kala Frueh

Written by Lance Leonhard

In January 2018, Marathon County officially started a Drug Recovery Court — an important new tool in our criminal justice system to address drug addiction in our community.


The Marathon County Drug Recovery Court’s Mission is as follows:

To improve quality of life of our participants, their families, and our community through a collaborative effort to integrate judicial oversight, intensive supervision, and evidence-based treatment. 

(You can learn more about what a Drug Recovery Court is and how the one in Marathon County will work in my 10/23/2017 Wisconsin Central Time NEWS article here.)

Our Drug Recovery Court Team is made up of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, substance abuse counselors, and representatives from law enforcement, probation/parole, the Marathon County Jail, and County Administration. But, until the beginning of March, we were still without a vital member of our team — a Drug Recovery Court Coordinator.

We’re happy to report that the wait is over!


Kala Frueh began as Marathon County’s Drug Recovery Court Coordinator on March 5, 2018.

If you see Kala around the courthouse or the community, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and ask her more about this new program.

We asked her to take a moment to answer a few questions to help us all get to know her better…

Q. What interested you about working in the field of Substance Abuse Treatment?

A. Both my mother and my father had substance abuse issues of their own. Their substance of choice was prescription pain medication, but most of the time, anything they could get their hands on would do the trick. There were times when my father would intentionally get hurt so that a doctor would prescribe him a new pain medication. For a while, I lived with my grandparents, but they were both addicted to alcohol. So, until high school, I was surrounded by individuals with substance abuse and dependency problems.

At the beginning of high school, I went to live with my mother’s sister and her husband. They provided me with the support and the structured life that I needed to succeed. Because of that, I have always been inspired to try to help others.

After high school, I attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, majoring in both Psychology and Criminology & Law Studies. Outside of school, I was a volunteer in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee program, where I was able to work with children who needed a little extra guidance from a positive role model. The program was extremely rewarding because I was able to work with the same children each week and see the progression they made during the school year—or even over multiple years.

After graduating, I moved to the Stevens Point area and decided to pursue a career in substance abuse counseling. I attended Northcentral Technical College and completed my Substance Abuse Counselor educational training and began searching for a professional opportunity to help people suffering from substance abuse addiction. The Drug Recovery Court Coordinator position is a perfect fit, and I am so excited to get started!

Q. So, how’s the job thus far?

A. There certainly is a lot to learn. I am thrilled to be working with a group of dedicated and skilled people. Everyone involved in the Drug Recovery Court is committed to the participants’ success.

OWI Court Coordinator Angie Wanta (left), Marathon County Justice Systems Coordinator Laura Yarie (center), and Drug Recovery Court Coordinator Kala Frueh (right) reviewing Drug Recovery Court procedures.

Q. How’s the Drug Recovery Court working?

A. I knew that our community had a need for a Drug Recovery Court, but I didn’t anticipate that we would have this many people seek application to the court this quickly. Our court is set up to handle 25 participants, but in less than 45 days, we already have received 20 referrals. The team is hard at work evaluating applicants, and we are very pleased to already have multiple people accepted into the program and enrolled in treatment.

Q. While you’re clearly busy at work, what do you like to do in your spare time?

A. I really enjoy reading and woodworking. Right now, my To-Read list includes I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb and The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.  As far as woodworking, one of my big goals is to make a king-sized bed frame. I also have a few smaller projects on my docket, including refinishing my grandma’s dining room table and making a frame for the dartboard I got for Christmas.

*  *  *

We’re very lucky to have Kala as part of our Marathon County team. She exemplifies our Core Value of Service, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for our Drug Recovery Court participants, their families, and our community.

If you would like to learn more about our Drug Recovery Court — or if you would like to find out how you can get involved in creating a community supportive of recovery — please email Kala Frueh or email Laura Yarie, our Justice Systems Coordinator.

Lance Leonard - Marathon County Deputy AdministratorLance Leonhard

Marathon County Deputy Administrator 

Lance Leonhard began his career in Marathon County government in the Office of Corporation Counsel and currently serves as the Marathon County Deputy Administrator. Lance’s career in public service has spanned more than a decade, having worked for the federal government as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for the state of Wisconsin as an Assistant District Attorney. Outside of work, you’re likely to find Lance spending time with his family, traveling, teeing off on a local golf course, or sitting around a campfire with friends.  Email Lance Leonhard

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