CONTACT PERSON: VALERIE WILLARD
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
| AUGUST 17, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
At a ceremony held at the 17th Judicial District Court (JDC), the National Council for DWI Courts presented the 2011 Leadership Award to a member of the 17th JDC drug and treatment court team, Lafourche Parish Assistant District Attorney Thad Toups. In attendance for the ceremony were Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John Weimer, 17th Judicial District Court Judge Jerome Barbera, and Louisiana Supreme Court Drug Court Office Program Services Manager Virginia Williams.
The National DWI Court Leadership Award recognizes contributions to the advancement of the nation’s DWI and Drug Court efforts to save lives and make our communities a safer place. According to Justice Weimer, “this award is indicative of the outstanding work of many individuals who are members of drug and treatment court teams throughout the state.”
Drug courts significantly reduce recidivism rates and costs associated with incarceration. Louisiana’s 47 drug and treatment courts are a statewide success story, with 739 adult graduates and 146 juvenile graduates in 2010. These courts integrate substance abuse treatment services within the judicial system. Each program is comprised of a drug court team which is led by a drug court judge and includes a drug court coordinator, treatment staff, prosecutor(s), public defender(s), law enforcement representative(s), case manager(s), and others who work together to ensure that the program operates according to all applicable standards and policies. Funds for Louisiana’s drug courts are administered by the Supreme Court Drug Court Office (SCDCO). The SCDCO awards funds annually to programs and monitors each program’s operations throughout the year. The SCDCO works with the Louisiana Association of Drug Court Professionals, the Office of Behavioral Health, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, the Office of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Children and Family Services, and other State and Federal partners to ensure accountability and to promote best practices in existing drug court programs. The office also assists with planning efforts of jurisdictions interested in establishing new drug court programs.
For more information contact the Louisiana Supreme Court Drug Court Office at (504) 568-2020.