The Role of Louisiana Drug Courts in the Criminal Justice System

There are many people who believe that what a person does in the privacy of his own company should be left untouched by public authorities. Government bodies, however, intervene through the law out of an effort to protect innocent people from possible consequences of those personal actions. For individuals who find themselves charged with drug offenses and under the power of the Louisiana criminal justice system, the role of the drug courts can be somewhat confusing.

Under the auspices of the Louisiana Supreme Court, drug courts operate to provide presumptive rehabilitation to people facing drug charges. There are almost 50 drug court programs in the state at this time and each is tasked with following a rubric of treatment outlined by the United States Department of Justice. Elements of that rubric include initial drug testing, drug treatment and mandatory follow up by the individual with the court.

Drug courts exist out of a desire by governments to stop the spread of drug addiction and drug crimes in communities. They provide individuals with the opportunity to get help with the drug problems that might be controlling their lives. Drug courts work with community groups and private agencies to provide services to those clients who end up in their programs.

Individuals sent to drug court can receive significant penalties if they violate the terms of the treatment plans established by the courts. Due to the continuous testing courts often require, those who slip up and consume forbidden substances can face heighted charges in other state courts. Drug courts receive public funding and are accountable to the communities that choose to support them.

Drug offenses are serious matters. While some alleged criminals land in criminal court, others may have the chance to deal with their issues in drug court. Individuals with questions about drug courts can contact their criminal law attorneys about the rehabilitative processes offered through them.

Source: Louisiana Supreme Court, “Drug Courts,” accessed on July 28, 2014

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