The Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Pretrial Diversion Program allows first time, non-violent defendants to participate in a comprehensive rehabilitation effort instead of jail time. Nearly 500 people participate in the program every year according to KTBS.com. Successful completion of the program allows people to avoid a criminal record. It is designed to give people a second chance after being charged for a first offense, often alcohol-related crime like Driving While Intoxicated.
Participants are required to complete a screening process prior to entering the program. They must also undergo a complete “psychological and substance abuse assessment” which helps to determine the appropriate treatment plan. According to the Caddo Parish District Attorney the program can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months to complete and includes a number of requirements depending on the crime and the individual including drug testing, counseling and training.
The program has not only helped to reduce recidivism for alcohol-related crimes like drinking and driving but has also helped to save taxpayers money. Participants are required to pay all fees including those to cover the alcohol monitoring. According to reports, “nearly 90 percent of participants complete the program.” The astounding completion rates mean that the vast majority of offenders are staying completely sober for the duration of the monitoring period.