Drug Court is a special court given the responsibility to handle cases involving less serious drug-using offenders through a supervision and treatment program. These programs include frequent drug testing, judicial and probation supervision, drug treatment counseling, educational opportunities and the use of sanctions and incentives. The Judge has much more involvement in supervising drug court offenders than just placing an individual in a probationary or diversionary program for drug treatment.

The connection between drug addiction and crime is supported by numerous statistics, 60-80% of all crimes at the state and local level are drug-related, committed by individuals who test positive for drug use at the time of arrest. The cycle of drug use and criminality cannot be broken under the current revolving door system. Those arrested for drugs are continually going in and out of the criminal justice system.

Drug Court programs bring the full weight of all interveners (the Judge, Probation Officers, Prosecutors, Defense Counsel, Drug Testing, Rehabilitation, Treatment Specialists, Educators, etc.) to bear, forcing the offender to deal with his/her substance abuse problem, in many cases for the first time, or suffer the consequences. All court officers work together rather than as adversaries, allowing offenders to feel responsible to all interveners. In addition, Drug Court insures consistency in judicial decision-making, coordination of agencies, resources, cost-effectiveness through alternative to prison time, efficient case management and the accountability of drug-using offender through drug-testing, frequent progress reports and the use of progressive sanctions.

Drug Court works best with drug offenders who are first time offenders. Almost all drug courts exclude offenders charged with the sale of drugs, possession for sale of drugs, or other serious offenses. Funding under the Crime Bill excludes participation by any offender who has been charged with a violent offense or who has a prior conviction for a violent crime.

Incarceration of drug-using offenders costs a minimum of $20,000 per year and as much as $50,000. The capital costs to build a prison cell is $80,000-$90,000. In contrast, the most comprehensive Drug Court System costs less than $3,000 annually for each criminal offender. The California Drug and Alcohol Treatment Assessment (CALDATA) estimated a cost of less than $8 per day for outpatient treatment which compares with estimates of $50-$70 per day associated with jail time. The outpatient treatment programs utilized by drug courts are relatively inexpensive and have shown promise with criminal justice populations.

Drug Courts across the nation are funded in a variety of ways: community partnerships and alliances between the court and service providers such as public and private hospitals, state funds through the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), local government funding, fund raising and other philanthropic avenues. Many communities form a non-profit 501(c) 3 entity to benefit their Drug Court.

Federal funds through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Drug Courts Programs Office, are available on a competitive basis. These federal funds are designed to be used as seed money to help new courts get started. The federal government does not provide ongoing operational funds to local Drug Courts.

The 32nd Judicial District Drug Court is funded by funds collected from participants and the Louisiana State Supreme Court.

The Drug Court team has begun the process of evaluating what funding and services are available locally. Drug Court is a community project, and a successful Drug Court will have a dramatic positive effect on the community. The Drug Court team is optimistic that the community will embrace this project and assist in providing services and funding to ensure the success of the program.

No one shall be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, age or national origin. Clients eligible for treatment must be citizens of the state of Louisiana and nonviolent drug offenders. Fee assessments will be in accordance with DHH standards and those set forth by the 32nd Judicial District Court. Clients will be charged a monthly probation fee.


Mission and Program Management: This is a post-conviction probation model. The program is open to those charged with a non-violent misdemeanor or felony offense, provided that substance abuse is an issue and they meet the program criteria.

It is the mission of T.P.D.T.C. to keep a drug using defendant in the treatment program for a period of twelve to eighteen months. The program will impose an assortment of obligations upon the defendant based upon his/her own particular needs. Some of the conditions that may be imposed are community service, fees, urinalysis, treatment, GED requirement, job training and the obligation to seek and maintain gainful employment.

Defendants who enter T.P.D.T.C. are prohibited from associating with drug users or drug possessors. If they have a spouse or roommate who is using, they are encouraged to convince that user to enter the program. (There will be no additional charge for the spouse.) Another prohibition is that the defendant may not work with any public agency which deals with criminal activity or drug treatment without an express order approving such activities by the Court. These two provisions are recognition that one of the most positive steps an offender can take is to step away from the environment or people where drug use is.

From earliest time in treatment, addictions have been viewed as a family disease. In order to truly break the cycle of chaos and enabling, family members must also understand their contribution to the problem. T.P.D.T.C. employs a twelve week family education component to address the issues most relevant to family members dealing with the addiction and recovery of drug court clients. In addition they are educated into the dynamics of Drug Court. This is done as a separate tract from primary treatment and gives the family member an opportunity to engage in their own personal forum with other family members and begin to see that the cycle of problems is not unique to their situation. This is the basis for recovery. The program is facilitated by trained professionals and attendance is monitored. Clients are given "credit" for family participation and this participation is reported in court status. Non-attendance of family members is dealt with by requiring the client to attend two (2) extra AA or NA meetings as a graduated sanction. Thus, clients soon become anxious to have family members participate in the process. Family members are frequently acknowledged in court by the judge and publicly thanked for their participation in the treatment process.

Family members completing the program often express gratitude at the opportunity to finally begin to understand addiction and recovery related matters. They are likewise strongly encouraged to attend Al-anon meeting for their own benefit.

Participant must be approved by the District Attorney and the Drug Treatment Court Judge
  1. Resident of Terrebonne Parish.
  2. Adults 17 and over.
  3. History of chemical dependence and addiction.
  4. Possession of small quantities of drugs.
  5. No distribution or drug-dealing offenders.
  6. No chronic violent offenders.
  7. No sex offenders.
  8. The defendant must not have holds from other jurisdictions.
  9. A weapon cannot be used in commission of a crime.
  10. There cannot be other crimes.
  11. The defendant cannot have convicted of Aggravated Burglary of an inhabited Dwelling of the defendant has a record of one or more prior felony convictions.
  12. All Admissions must have prior screening and approval by the District Attorney’s office.
  13. Only the defendants who suffer from drug addiction or who are in danger of becoming dependent on drugs and who are likely to be rehabilitated through treatment shall be considered for treatment.
  14. The crime before the court cannot be a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or any drug or drugs that resulted in the death of a person or a felony DWI conviction of 13:5304.
  15. The amount charged cannot be one of multiple counts of distribution, possession with intent to distribute, production, manufacture, or cultivation of controlled dangerous substance R.S. 13:5304.
  16. Compliance with R.S. 13:5304.
  17. No crimes of violence as defined in R.S. 1412 (13), R.S. 5304.

Principle Goals Principle Methods
Discontinue Drug Use
Stabilize Health
Drug / Alcohol Screens 3 Times Weekly
Psycosocial and Physical Assessment
Development of Treatment Plan
---BEGIN AA and NA

Average Duration: 8 Weeks

Court appearances Weekly with possible sanctions for non-compliance.
Principle Goals Principle Methods
Remain Drug Free
Maintain Employment
Drug / Alcohol Screens 2 Times Weekly
Attend AA and NA 3 Times Weekly
Development of Treatment Plan
Begin Intensive Group Therapy
Individual Counseling as needed

Average Duration: 4-6 Months

Court appearances bi-weekly with possible sanctions for non-compliance.
Principle Goals Principle Methods
Remain Drug Free
GED or Educational Degree
Make Aftercare Arrangements
Drug / Alcohol Screens 1 Time Weekly
Attend AA and NA 3 Times Weekly
Intensive Group Therapy
Individual Counseling as needed

Average Duration: 3-6 Months

Court appearances monthly with possible sanctions for non-compliance.
Principle Goals Principle Methods
Support independent lifestyle
Practice skills
Provide intensive supervision
Random Drug / Alcohol Screens
Continue AA and NA involvement
Intensive Community monitoring
Individual Counseling monthly
Update continuing

Average Duration: 6 Months

Court appearances monthly with possible sanctions for non-compliance.