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A defendant arrested on drug charges or drug related charges must be recommended by the district attorney and must meet all eligibility requirements of La. R.S. 13:5304 et seq.

After meeting the eligibility requirements above, the defendant must submit to a clinical evaluation and be clinically accepted by the treatment staff to be eligible to participate in the Recovery Court Program.  

The defendant and his attorney must agree to participate in the Recovery Court.  

This requires an extensive review by the defense attorney with the defendant of all of the rules and regulations required for participation and completion of the Recovery Court.  This includes the defendant and his lawyer completely discussing the Drug Court Plea Agreement, the Client Contract, and the Waiver of Confidentiality.


That participants must abide by all of the rules of drug court, which include mandatory court attendance, mandatory treatment attendance, extensive drug testing, possible inpatient treatment, and sanctioning by the court for all non-compliance.

That defendant must meet with his probation officer regularly and abide by all conditions of probation.  Fulfillment of all obligations of probation must be met prior to completion of the program.

That the Recovery Court Program is very extensive and requires tremendous effort on behalf of the defendant.  The Program requires a minimum of twelve months to complete, but may last up to three years depending on each defendant’s own progress.  It is divided into four separate phases:

PHASE I—This is the pretreatment stabilization and engagement phase.

PHASE II—This is the cognitive restructuring phase of treatment and is the most intensive of all phases.

PHASE III—This phase concentrates on relapse prevention.

PHASE IV—This is the transition and after care phase.

There are 4 forms in the referral packet that must be completed when making a referral to Recovery Court:  Preliminary Referral and Evaluation Request, Plea Agreement, Client Agreement, and Waiver of Confidentiality.  

The referring attorney will complete the referral packet with his/her client and submit to the Staff Attorney.  Once the referral is submitted, the court’s file will be requested by the Staff Attorney.  The ADA will review the file, defendant’s prior charges, and make a decision on whether to approve the defendant for Recovery Court. If recommended, the defendant will be evaluated by the recovery court staff to determine if the defendant is clinically appropriate for treatment.  

If clinically appropriate for the program, the defense attorney will be notified that his/her client is approved for recovery court treatment and will be set on the docket in the Section to plead into recovery court.  

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