(WATCP) — In a message distributed June 5th, 2020, WATCP members were notified that the organization’s annual Statewide Conference recently re-scheduled to September would be cancelled altogether. The board voted to cancel the event during a teleconference held on Wednesday, June 3rd.

The message from WATCP President, JC Moore, reads as follows:

“Hello, My name is JC Moore. I’m a court commissioner in Milwaukee, and for the last 2 years, I’ve had the honor of serving as Board President for the Wisconsin Association of Treatment Court Professionals. Since 2004, WATCP has held a yearly conference for treatment court teams. Our last conference in 2019 was the most successful ever with nearly 650 participants and vendors attending. This year however, we will be unable to hold a statewide conference and the event planned for September 2020 will be cancelled.

“As you know, the 2020 conference was originally scheduled for April and then rescheduled to September due to the COVID pandemic. The board was hopeful that by moving the conference to fall, we would still be able to hold a live event the same way we have for the last 15 years. However, no one was able to foresee the lasting and wide-ranging effects that this pandemic would have. We will be back however with the 2021 conference scheduled for April 28-30th at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Please mark your calendars. Additionally, any board members whose terms would have expired at the 2020 conference have agreed to stay on until 2021.

“In making the difficult choice to cancel the 2020 conference,  the board looked at a number of factors including health and safety, tight state and local budgets resulting in travel restrictions, a second statewide conference within the same fiscal year and heavy court calendars in the fall as a consequence of the earlier shut downs. We also tried to account for your preferences taken from a recent survey. The survey results made clear how much you rely on the statewide conference to provide cutting edge, cost effective training for teams as well as a chance to relax and connect with your team and others. While we can’t provide the latter this year, the board is already looking at ways to conduct virtual, accredited training between now and the 2021 conference.  Please look forward to hearing about this in the coming weeks. This will also include opportunities for our vendors and sponsors to inform you about important products and services they provide; many of which have become critical to treatment court operations in our new virtual world.

Important Cancellation Information:

“If you have already registered and paid for the 2020 conference and plan on attending in 2021, your registration fees will be credited to next year’s conference. If you paid using TAD funds, DOJ has confirmed that this credit arrangement is permitted. If for whatever reason you are unable have the 2020 fees credited to next year’s conference registration, please contact our administrative assistant, Jodi ([email protected]) for a full refund.

“If you have reserved a room at the Kalahari in September, please cancel this through its online reservation system, passkey (https://book.passkey.com/e/50093368).  Do not call the Kalahari directly to cancel your reservations as they don’t have the staff to handle this, and the online system is the best way to ensure your full refund.   If after cancelling, you are sent an automated message that a $25.00 cancellation fee will be charged, disregard as the Kalahari will be correcting this in the future. If it persists, contact Jodi.

“Thank you for your understanding and commitment to your courts and participants, especially in these troubling times. I’m looking forward to seeing you at next year’s conference.”