19th Judicial District Court recognizes National Recovery Month
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - September marks national recovery month. Family and friends spent the day supporting their loved ones recovering through recovery, and folks at the EBR District Courthouse are helping folks with a program.
The Pre-trial Diversion and Recovery Program gives people who face mental health or substance abuse challenges the option of rehabilitation rather than spending time behind bars.
Lisa Burns works closely with participants for six to eight months, ensuring people follow their case plans.
According to Chief Judge Don Johnson at the 19th judicial court system, the issues are more than addictions and mental illnesses alone.
Organizers are hoping to provide people with the resources they need to succeed.
“We are reframing the traditional criminal court model to say look, the court is going to assist in intervening. The court is going to get involved in stopping crime also,” Johnson said.
The road to recovery is not always easy, and Burns says sometimes people land right back into court, but that’s why people like her are just one phone call away.
“We celebrate successes. We have people that have speed bumps we call them. And they may have to go back to jail briefly. That is never our intention because we know that jail is not the answer for those who want recovery,” Burns said
The program started in 2017. Since then, about 81 people have graduated, and according to organizers 10% of that number have been recidivated.
On Friday September 15th, two people graduated from the program.
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