The 22nd District Judicial District Sobriety Court began in October 2008. The program was developed through funding provided by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission as well as the collaborative efforts of the 22nd Judicial District Court, the District Attorney’s Office, the Misdemeanor Probation Office, the Clerk of Court’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, the Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, and Louisiana Rehabilitation Services.
Enhance community safety through an immediately responsive alternative sentencing program for alcohol-dependent offenders. Based on the ten guiding principles of DWI Courts, the program seeks to reduce recidivism by holding offenders responsible for their behavior, stopping the abuse of alcohol, and introducing the individual to a continuum of services. The court seeks to rehabilitate offenders and increase effective utilization of law enforcement, treatment and judicial resources.
Sobriety 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.
- Compliance with EtG (Ethyl Glucuronide) Testing
- Compliance with Drug testing
- Individual and Group Counseling
- Regular Attendance at Twelve Step Meetings
- Attendance at regular court appearances
General Program Requirements Include:
Referral and Eligibility
The target population is non-violent offenders who have two or more DWI convictions, have indicators of a serious alcohol problem (prior alcohol related arrests/ convictions, or high BAC at the time of arrest) and meet criteria for alcohol abuse/dependence. The program will also accept felons who as part of their sentence must complete this program.
- Non-violent offenders who have two or more DWI convictions
- Indicators of a serious alcohol problem (prior alcohol related arrests/ convictions, or high BAC at the time of arrest)
- Meet criteria for alcohol abuse/dependence
- 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:
The DWI case manager will coordinate efforts with the treatment provider and the participant’s designated probation officer to assure all needs are addressed, as well as to advise the Judge of any compliance issues. Case management will also assist with obtaining educational skills assessments, and will provide referrals for vocational training, education and/or job placement services.
Sobriety 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 Rick Swartz
“I personally believe this: We have only today; yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow is uncertain. That’s why they call it the present. And sobriety really is a gift… for those who are willing to receive it.”
I’d like to thank the court for allowing this program to even exist. Had it not been for this program the valuable lessons learned would have probably sunk in at a period in life when it would have been just a little too late! At the point where regret and the should haves, would haves, could haves would have haunted me to …