Presiding Judges: August Hand, Reginald Badeaux, Martin Coady
The Adult Drug Court Program was established in 1998 to address the significant amount of non-violent substance abusing clients being placed on probation only to be revoked due to their untreated and continued substance use. This model is designed to address the offender’s need for treatment, support and monitoring in a highly structured system. Since its inception in 1998 the Drug Court program has grown significantly and presently provides services to approximately 265 clients throughout St. Tammany and Washington Parishes.
The goal of the program is for the participant to be off drugs and alcohol and to ensure that the participant has the tools necessary to live in society without reoffending. Other issues which clients face, such as emotional problems, vocational needs, educational deficits, etc., are referred to the appropriate agencies.
Drug Court is voluntary, Though included as a condition of probation. Benefits of successful completion may include reduction in the term of probation, dismissal of criminal charges, and reduced or suspended incarceration.
- Adherence to scheduled sessions, meetings, and appointments made by the providers
- AA/NA Support Groups
- Compliance with Drug and Alcohol testing
- Attendance at regular court appearances
General Program Requirements Include:
Referral and Eligibility
Potential participants may be identified at the time of arrest, arraignment or probation revocation hearing and are referred by judges, defense counsel, district attorneys, and probation officers. The problem-solving courts of the 22nd JDC of Louisiana work collaboratively to ensure the most appropriate placement for non-violent offenders. Defendants are screened for eligibility. Passing the screening process does not guarantee admission into the program. Acceptance is made on a case-by-case basis.
- Evidence of a serious and persistent addiction to drugs and or alcohol
- Defendant has been convicted and sentenced (post-adjudication) and is eligible for probation (misdemeanor or felony). Individuals charged with murder or sex offenses are not eligible.
- A drug or alcohol issue was likely a factor in the offense.
- Defendant’s addiction has seriously impacted quality of life and without added conditions of the court is likely to become non-compliant.
- Willing and amenable to addiction treatment and the recommendations of the treatment provider.
- Has the mental and cognitive capacity to handle the structure of Drug Court.
- Has a valid home address in St. Tammany parish. If defendant lives in Washington Parish, he/she must have reliable transportation to attend status hearings.
- Willing to sign releases of information to all necessary treatment providers and collaborators.
- Agree to refrain from alcohol and drug use (other than approved medications).
- Submit to random drug testing.
General Eligibility Includes:
Participants are assigned a case manager once the defendant has been assessed as eligible for the program. The participant is oriented to the Drug Court program and an individualized case plan is developed. The case manager will help the participant connect with appropriate treatment resources and communicate regularly with the participant’s provider. Linkages to other services and resources are provided as needed such as transportation, self-help meetings, peer support services, and housing. Monitoring by the case manager includes overseeing compliance with required activities such as drug screens and attendance at treatment appointments. The case manager is responsible for collecting and reporting information to the court at weekly staffings held prior the status hearings.
Drug Court Team
- District Judge
- Administrator/Program Coordinator
- Case Managers
- State Probation And Parole
- 22nd JDC Misdemeanor Probation
- Treatment Providers
- District Forensic Coordinator
- District Attorney’s Office
- Public Defender’s Office
- Community Liaisons/Ancillary Services
- Clerk Of Court
Judge August Hand
“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.”