The mission of drug courts is to reduce offender abuse of and/or addiction to alcohol and/or other mood altering chemicals, thus decreasing related criminal activity. Drug courts promote recovery through a coordinated response to offenders who are dependent on alcohol and other drugs. Utilization of a team approach is required, including collaboration among judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, probation authorities, law enforcement, treatment providers, and evaluators. Drug courts employ a multi-phased treatment process, generally divided into a stabilization phase, an intensive treatment phase, and a transition phase.
The Ninth Judicial District Court recognizes the critical need for criminal justice programs to reduce the incidents of alcohol and drug use, alcohol and drug addiction, and crimes committed as a result of alcohol and drug use and alcohol and drug addiction. This Court also recognizes the problem of alcohol and drug abuse among the citizens of Rapides Parish and the State of Louisiana is excessive and needs to be addressed and corrected not only for health and welfare of the citizens of this State, but also because alcohol and drug abuse or dependency has been identified as a contributing factor in the commission of many crimes. Therefore, pursuant to court rule, this Court has created a Drug Court Division to reduce use of and addiction to alcohol/drugs and crimes committed as a result of alcohol/drug use and addiction.
To reduce alcoholism and drug abuse and dependency among offenders;
To reduce criminal recidivism;
To reduce the alcohol and drug related work load of the courts;
To increase the personal, familial and societal accountability of offenders;
To promote effective interaction and use of resources among community justice personnel and community agencies;
To reduce the overcrowding of prisons; and
To provide for better public safety
About the Program
The Adult Drug Court program is a two-year program. It consists of 4 phases: the Pre-contemplation Phase, Contemplation Phase, Preparation/Action Phase and the Maintenance Phase. Clients are promoted through the phases based on their recovery progress culminating in graduation. Sessions are two to four times per week. Individual and gender specific sessions are also provided. Clients must also attend at least two outside meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous per week. The Drug Court Judge conducts status hearings weekly to review the progress of the clients.
The 9th JDC Adult program has graduated 225 successful men and women in its 10-year history and has a current recidivism rate of 12% as compared to the national rate of 17%. The rate of recidivism for drug offenders who do time in prison is 66%.
Adult drug court is open to drug-using probationers and offenders charged with a nonviolent drug or non-drug case. Probationers or offenders with charges stemming from violence or distributing drugs are typically not eligible for drug court.
Any candidate for drug court must undergo a screening process before being admitted into the program. The screening process involves a criminal background check to evaluate the candidate’s criminal history in order to rule out violent crime offenders and drug dealers. After the background check, the candidate is interviewed by a Drug Court staff member and a computer-driven test is given to determine if the person suffers from substance abuse or addiction. At this point, if the candidate is suitable for the Drug Court program, he or she will undergo a final test to determine his or her appropriate treatment group. However, if it determined that Drug Court is not appropriate but the person does have a substance abuse problem the candidate is referred to other treatment programs.