The Fourth Judicial District’s Drug and Alcohol Court celebrated its partnership with the Louisiana Delta Community College in a ceremony last week commemorating each entity’s efforts to educate participants in the local drug court program.

The Fourth Judicial District Drug & Alcohol Court, under Judge Sharon Marchman, forged a partnership with Louisiana Delta Community College to address the educational needs of the drug court participants. LDCC faculty and staff work in close collaboration with the drug court team to assess and place the participant in the appropriate educational setting in order to ensure their success.

“We’re appreciative of the recognition by Marchman and the Drug Court. Partnerships, like this, can be one of the most effective tools in combating issues such as these,” said Chris Broadwater, Acting Chancellor for LDCC. “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.”

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 lifesaving treatment and the chance to repair their lives, reconnect with their families, and find long-term recovery.

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 Fourth 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 employability and earning capacity so that they can become valued members of our communities.”

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. 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 also reducing recidivism, thus making our communities safer.

The Fourth Judicial District Drug and Alcohol Court was established in 1998. Marchman has presided over the court since 2004.

The drug court treatment team consists of the judge, an assistant district attorney, public defender, probation officer, case managers and treatment counselors. A drug court participant is required to submit to regular court appearances, intensive supervision, frequent random drug screens and therapy among other things.

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