Sobriety Court

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The 22nd District Judicial District Sobriety Court program 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.

The mission of the program is to 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.

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.

The program includes regular court appearances before the judge and treatment includes EtG (Ethyl Glucuronide) testing, drug testing, individual and group counseling, and regular attendance at twelve step meetings. 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 and skills assessments, and will provide referrals for vocational training, education and/or job placement services.

Criteria
Phases
Judges and Schedule

Criteria

All participants must voluntarily make application to DWI Court, provide a drug/alcohol screen, and undergo an eligibility and chemical addiction assessment. All candidates must enter the program within 35 days of their initial appearance. ENTRY 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. Candidates must demonstrate a willingness to accept responsibility for their addiction and criminal conduct.
  7. Candidates must receive an alcohol/chemical addiction evaluation and have an alcohol/chemical addiction diagnosis.
  8. Including the current offense, candidates must have or more DUIs and the current offense must be a Class A Misdemeanor or Class C Felony.
  9. Candidates must be residents of the jurisdiction.
  10. Candidates must adhere to all probation requirements for DWI offenders, if so court-ordered, including home incarceration and ignition interlock devices.
  11. Candidates must be assessed as long-term moderate to severe alcoholic-dependent persons.
  12. Candidates must be able to solve transportation needs.

Phases

The DWI Court program consists of three phases and can be completed in as little as 15 months. Phase I: Minimum of 2 months Minimum Requirements:

  1. To attend one DWI Court session per week.
  2. To provide a minimum of two alcohol/and or drug tests per week and/or being actively monitored by the SCRAM Monitoring Program.
  3. To report to the assigned DWI case manager and probation officer as instructed.
  4. To attend and provide documentation of three AA/NA meetings per week.
  5. To attend at least one MADD (Victim Impact Panel) meeting.
  6. To attend and participate in all assigned group, family, and/or individual counseling sessions.
  7. To meet financial obligations: i.e. court costs, restitution, child support, etc., as decided on by the DWI Team
  8. To maintain DWI Team approved stable housing.
  9. To maintain DWI Team approved employment, training, or education and a 40-hour work week.
  10. To obtain and maintain a 12-step sponsor w/ 3 yrs sobriety.
  11. To have 60 continuous days of sobriety.

Phase II: Minimum of 4 months Minimum Requirements:

  1. To attend one DWI Court session every two weeks.
  2. To provide a minimum of two alcohol/and or drug test per week and/or being actively monitored by the SCRAM Monitoring Program.
  3. To report to the assigned DWI case manager and probation officer as instructed.
  4. To attend and provide documentation of three AA/NA meetings per week.
  5. To attend and participate in all assigned group, family, and/or individual counseling sessions.
  6. To meet financial obligations: i.e. court costs, restitution, child support, etc., as decided on by the DWI Team.
  7. To maintain DWI Team approved stable housing.
  8. To maintain DWI Team approved employment, training, or education and a 40-hour work week.
  9. To obtain and/or maintain a 12-step sponsor w/3 yrs sobriety.
  10. To have 120 continuous days of sobriety (separate and apart from Phase I sobriety time).
  11. Must begin working toward GED, if participant does not have high-school diploma or equivalent.

Phase III: Minimum of 6 months Minimum Requirements:

  1. To attend one DWI Court session every 3 weeks.
  2. To provide one alcohol/and or drug tests per week, which reflect no use of drugs or alcohol. In lieu of random alcohol testing, active monitoring by SCRAM Monitoring Program may be utilized.
  3. To report to the assigned DWI case manager and probation officer as instructed.
  4. To attend and provide documentation of three AA/NA meetings per week or as determined by the DWI Team.
  5. To attend and participate in all assigned group, family, and/or individual counseling sessions.
  6. To meet financial obligations: i.e. court costs, restitution, child support, etc., as decided on by the DWI Team.
  7. To maintain DWI Team approved stable housing.
  8. To maintain DWI Team approved employment, training, or education and a 40-hour work week.
  9. To obtain and maintain a 12-step sponsor w/ 3 yrs sobriety.
  10. To have 120 continuous days of sobriety separate and apart from other Phase sobriety time).
  11. To complete an exit interview and have an established plan for aftercare.
  12. To obtain GED, if participant does not have a high-school diploma or equivalent.

Aftercare – Three Months

  1. Telephone monitoring – DWI Case Manager – Monthly contacts, either in person or telephone, to check in with participants about their progress, to monitor them for impeding signs of relapse, and to make treatment or aftercare referrals to treatment providers as required.
  2. To randomly provide alcohol/and or drug tests, which reflect no use of drugs or alcohol. In lieu of random alcohol testing, active monitoring by SCRAM Monitoring Program may be utilized.

Judges and Schedule

St. Tammany Parish

Judge Swartz—Wednesday mornings

7:30 pre-status conferences in chambers

8:30 status conferences in court

80 clients