LDCC honored during National Drug Court Month
In celebration of National Drug Court month, the 4th Judicial District Court Drug & Alcohol Court expressed its appreciation to Louisiana Delta Community College (LDCC) for its efforts in working with drug court participants to further their educations and reduce their recidivism, thereby making the community safer.
Drug court was created in 1998. The treatment team consists of the judge, an assistant district attorney, public defender, probation officer, case managers and treatment counselors. A drug court participant must submit to regular court appearances, intensive supervision, frequent random drug screens and therapy, among other requirements.
Fourth JDC Judge Sharon Marchman has presided over the court since 2004. On Wednesday morning, she presented a plaque to Chris Broadwater, acting chancellor for LDCC.
Under the leadership of Chancellor Dennis Epps, the 4th JDC Drug & Alcohol Court has forged a strong partnership with LDCC to address the educational needs of participants.
Community college faculty and staff work closely with the drug court team to assess and place the participant in the appropriate educational setting in order to ensure success.
"Partnerships, like this, can be one of the most effective tools in combating issues such as these. We’re happy to be a part of impacting the lives of the Drug Court participants and also the lives of the people they touch," Broadwater said.
This May, drug courts throughout Louisiana will join more than 4,000 such programs nationwide in celebrating National Drug Court Month.
This year alone, more than 150,000 individuals nationwide who entered the justice system due to addiction will receive treatment and the chance to repair their lives, reconnect with their families and find long-term recovery.
National Drug Court Month is a celebration of the lives restored by drug court. Numerous studies have found that drug courts reduce crime and drug use and save money. Research shows drug courts also improve education, employment, housing, financial stability and family reunification, which reduces foster care placements.
More than 30 years ago, the first drug court opened its doors with a simple premise: Rather than continue to allow individuals with long histories of addiction and crime to cycle through the justice system at great expense to the public, use the leverage of the court to keep them engaged in treatment long enough to be successful.
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According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), for every $1.00 invested in drug courts, communities receive an average of $3.36 in benefits. Today, drug courts have proven that a combination of accountability and treatment saves lives while reducing recidivism, thus making communities safer.
Research has shown that each level of education a person attains directly reduces the risk they will be incarcerated as an adult.
“This is the reason why all participants in the 4th JDC Drug Court who did not graduate from high school or pass the HiSET exam are required to obtain a HiSET in order to graduate from the program," Marchman said. "We also encourage each participant to pursue higher learning through college courses, vocational/technical training and adult education. Our drug court wants to increase their (ability to become employed) and earning capacity so that they can become valued members of our communities.”