Family Preservation Court
The 22nd JDC Family Preservation Court began in March 2013. Family Preservation Court is an alternative to regular dependency court and is designed to improve the safety and well-being of children in the dependency system by providing parents access to drug and alcohol treatment, judicial monitoring of their sobriety and individualized services to support the entire family.
Through this collaborative, non-adversarial approach, the Family Preservation Court integrates substance abuse treatment and increased accountability into the process by utilizing the 10 key components of the Drug Court model. The goal is to give parents quicker access to treatment and the ability to stay in treatment for a longer period of time. With the intense intervention the FPC provides, the judge and DCFS are able to make quicker and more informed decisions on the client’s ability to parent.
Family Preservation 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
- Medication Adherence
- Compliance with Drug and Alcohol testing
- Attendance at regular court appearances
General Program Requirements Include:
Referral and Eligibility
The FPC has established several community collaborations and relies almost solely on referrals from the Department of Children and Family Services. 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.
- 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.
- Willing and amenable to treatment and the recommendations of the treatment provider.
- Has the mental and cognitive capacity to handle the structure of BHC.
- 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 FPC 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.
Family Preservation 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
- Education Specialist
- Clerk Of Court
Presiding Judge Scott Gardner
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”