Drug Court

Drug Court graduation recognizes the men and women who have completed the Drug Court program and are preparing to reenter our community as productive members of society. Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Drug Court has been a proven budget solution for Orleans Parish. Drug Court truly makes a difference, from reducing drug use and recidivism, to reuniting families and making New Orleans safer.

Drug Court is an essential component of our justice system and saves vast criminal justice resources and returns individuals to our community as productive, tax-paying citizens. This is a national program which has grown from 12 original drug courts in 1994 to over 2,500 drug courts operating in the U.S. today. Our Drug Court has been operating since 1997 and has served over 3,000 clients thus far. We currently have 454 clients participating within seven (7) Drug Courts:

Judge Benedict Willard, Section C.

Judge Julian Parker, Section G.

Judge Camille Buras, Section H.

Judge Karen Herman, Section I.

Judge Darryl Derbigny, Section J.

Judge Gerard Hansen, Magistrate.

While in the drug court program, eligible drug offenders, often with serious addictions, remain in treatment for long periods of time under close supervision. They must meet their obligations to themselves, their families and society. They are regularly and randomly tested for drug use, required to appear frequently in court for the judge to review their progress, meet frequently with their case managers, are rewarded for doing well and sanctioned (sometimes jailed) for not living up to their obligations. Research has shown that Drug Courts work better than jail or prison, better than standard probation and better than treatment alone.

For many of the graduates you'll meet Thursday, completing Drug Court may be the first success they have ever experienced in life. It is a long road for them, sometimes with setbacks. But graduation from the Drug Court program represents a tremendous achievement and a start at a new life. You'll find that it is a joyous occasion for the graduates and their families.