Adult Drug Court

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The Drug Court Program was established to address the significant amount of substance abusing clients being placed on probation only to be revoked due to their untreated and continued use. This model is designed to address the offender’s need for treatment, support and monitoring in a highly structured system.

This system involves the treatment program, a Case Management Office, the Drug Court judge, Probation and Parole, and other community resources as needed such as AA/NA support groups. Clients are required to participate in regular treatment sessions, frequent urine drug screening, and recurrent court appearances to ensure they comply with the requirements of their probation.

Other issues which clients face, such as emotional problems, vocational needs, educational deficits, etc., are referred to the appropriate agencies. The goal of the program is to get the participant off drugs and/or alcohol and to ensure that he/she has the tools necessary to live in society without reoffending. Since its inception in 1998 the Drug Court program has grown significantly to presently providing services to approximately 265 clients throughout St. Tammany and Washington Parishes.

Criteria Phases
Judges and Schedule

Criteria

To be eligible for the program, the defendant must meet the following criteria:

  1. Defendant cannot have any prior felony conviction for any offense defined as a homicide in R.S. 14:29.
  2. The crime before the court cannot be a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B) or an offense of domestic abuse battery which is punishable by imprisonment at hard labor as provided in R.S. 14:35.3.
  3. Other criminal proceedings alleging commission of a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2 (B) cannot be pending against the defendant.
  4. Charge cannot be DWI that resulted in the death of a person.
  5. Charge cannot be one of multiple counts of distribution, PWITD, production, manufacture, or cultivation of CDS.
  6. The Drug Court Treatment Program staff has reason to believe that the individual charged suffers from alcohol and drug addiction.
  7. The best interest of the community and the interest of justice would best be served by providing the individual with treatment as opposed to incarceration or other sanctions.
  8. In addition, defendants may have difficulty participating in the program if one of the following conditions exists:
    1. Work takes them out of town on a frequent basis.
    2. Resides outside of St. Tammany or Washington parishes.
    3. Transportation problems.
    4. Severe mental or emotional problems.
    5. Sentence for offense carries a non-suspendable sentence greater than six months.
    6. Medical condition that requires immediate attention or on-going use of mood-altering substances

Phases

Phase I

  • Approximately 6 to 8 weeks (depending on individual progress)
  • Attend substance abuse treatment 4 to 5 days a week
  • Provide OBSERVED urine drug screens twice a week on a random basis
  • Must pay $10.00 per drug screen, money orders only
  • Must attend court for a status hearing every week
  • Must obtain a sponsor with at least 3-5 years sobriety
  • Must attend at least 3 AA/NA/CA meetings per week and provide documentation of attendance
  • Abstain from drugs and alcohol

If you are in compliance with all of these requirements, you are eligible to advance to Phase II. Phase II

  • Approximately 6 months (depending on individual progress)
  • Attend substance abuse treatment 2 days a week
  • Continue to provide OBSERVED urine drug screens twice a week on a random basis
  • Must pay $10.00 per drug screen, money orders only
  • Must attend court for a status hearing every other week
  • Must continue to have and utilize your sponsor with at least 3-5 sobriety
  • Must continue to attend 3 AA/NA/CA meetings per week and provide documentation
  • Must become employed full-time, enroll in college, job training, or GED classes
  • Continue abstaining from thugs and alcohol

If you are in compliance with all of these requirements, you are eligible to advance to Phase III. Phase III

  • Approximately 4 months (depending on individual progress)
  • Attend substance abuse treatment one day a week
  • Continue to provide OBSERVED urine thug screens twice a week on a random basis
  • Must pay $10.00 per drug screen, money orders only
  • Must attend court for a status hearing once a month
  • Must continue to have and utilize your sponsor with at least 3-5 years sobriety
  • Must continue to attend at least 3 AA/NA/CA meetings per week and provide documentation Must maintain full time employment, student status or obtain GED in order to graduate
  • Must have ALL restitution, probation fines, child support, etc, current
  • Continue abstaining from drugs and alcohol

If you are in compliance with all of these requirements, you are eligible to advance to Phase IV. Alumni Program/Phase IV Remember, YOU ARE STILL ON PROBATION. While you are in Phase IV you are still required to ABSTAIN FROM ALL mood-altering substances, INCLUDING ALCOHOL. Failure to maintain sobriety may cause you serious problems with your probation officer. Requirements:

  • 6 months in duration; clients must have one year clean in order to complete the program
  • Attendance of at least 6 Alumni Events is required prior to completion of Phase IV. Each time a graduate attends an Alumni event, they will receive one $10.00 UDS Bucks Coupon.
  • Drug Screen randomly, about once every 2 weeks. Continue to call the 1-888-60-DRUGS number every day. YOUR COLOR is now PURPLE (Covington) or GOLD (Slidell).
  • Court appearances once a month. You will be subpoenaed as usual.
  • You may be offered the opportunity to participate in job training and job skills programs. If you know you are interested in this, please contact the Alumni Coordinator or your Case Manager.
  • Attendance of AT LEAST three AN/NA/CA meetings per week. Verification should be turned in at your status hearings.
  • Schedule and attend at least one appointment with your Case Manager every month.

FAQs

I was ordered to participate in the 22nd Judicial District Drug Court Treatment Program, what does that mean exactly and how do I know if I am eligible?

I was told that it is virtually impossible to complete Drug Court, is that true?

That sounds like a lot! If I’m unable to meet the requirements of the Drug Court does that mean I will go to jail and serve my sentence?

My job requires that I travel out of town and my lawyer said that Drug Court would work around my job, is this true?

I don’t want to participate in the program. What’s going to happen to me if I don’t participate?

What are the benefits of participating in the 22nd Judicial District Drug Court?

I was sentenced to enroll in the 22nd Judicial District Drug Court but I live in another parish or another state, what should I do?

DISCLAIMER:  All statements in this document are to provide general information to clients to make an informed decision.  Program requirements are subject to change at any time.  Please hold any further questions that you may have during your interview or Drug Court Orientation session.

Judges and Schedule

St. Tammany Parish

 Judge Hand—Thursday mornings

7:30 pre-status conferences in chambers

8:30 status conferences in court

150 clients

 Judge Penzato—Wednesday mornings

7:30 pre-status conferences in chambers

8:30 status conferences in court

150 clients

Washington Parish

Judge Coady—Monday mornings

7:30 pre-status conferences in chambers

8:30 pre-status conferences in court

30 clients