Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

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The role and impact of Louisiana’s drug courts

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Drug Charges |

In Louisiana, drug courts represent an essential component of the criminal justice system. They aim to address addiction-related offenses by using rehabilitative programs and support rather than incarceration.

The following points illustrate the purpose and impact the drug courts have for a more effective, compassionate approach to handling addiction-related crimes.

Program overview

Drug courts use a progressive approach to address addiction-related offenses. Instead of imprisoning individuals who have criminal drug charges, the program offers them a chance to break their cycle of addiction.

The emphasis on addiction treatment and recovery provides non-violent offenders the chance to avoid prison in exchange for entering into a rehabilitation program. The programs offer comprehensive treatments that aim to address the root cause of the addiction.

The drug courts create treatment plans tailored to each individual that address their specific challenges and underlying contributors, which increases the person’s chance for successful recovery from active addiction. Drug court programs often result in quicker case resolutions in comparison to standard criminal court proceedings.

Support and accountability

The drug court brings together judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, defense attorneys and addiction treatment providers. This collaborative, coordinated effort provides support throughout a participant’s recovery and rehabilitation.

The program holds the participants accountable for their actions and helps them rebuild their lives. Participants in the drug court programs are regularly monitored to ensure that they comply with their court-ordered requirements and treatment plans. Drug courts also provide individuals with resources for essential services such as counseling, medical care, housing assistance and job training. Without the court program, participants may not have had access to these types of resources.

Reduction in recidivism

The drug court system uses graduated sanctions for individuals who do not comply with the programs. Instead of removing them from the program for non-compliance, the graduated sanctions aid in modifying behaviors and preventing relapse.

By emphasizing rehabilitation and offering different types of support, the drug courts contribute to significantly lower rates of individuals re-offending. The programs also help individuals re-enter society as sober, law-abiding and productive citizens.

The nature and purpose of drug courts aim to provide a viable incarceration alternative. By conducting these programs, stakeholders can advocate for more humane and effective solutions to legal problems from addiction.