All Louisiana residents make mistakes from time to time. The important thing is how the person responds to and learns from the mistake, in order to try to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
When it comes to the criminal justice system, it can seem as though this principle is lost, as individuals often face severe penalties even when it is their first time being charged. This can happen with drug charges, which typically carry very severe sentences in relation to the nature of the charges.
This is not always the case, however, as individuals charged with certain drug crimes may be eligible to participate in a drug diversion program. The purpose of the diversion program is to reduce the crime rate, as well as prison populations, all while providing a positive impact for those who are enrolled in the program so they can be rehabilitated and avoid future drug charges. This is especially true with young adults with no criminal history, as these individuals should not be punished severely for making a single mistake.
The diversion program provides sessions where individuals can examine the issues involved in their drug charges. The individuals enrolled participate in the training course, and they provide community service and obtain education as part of their enrollment. They also may receive substance abuse to address the underlying issues with the drug offenses.
The program is voluntary and allows those who participate to be diverted from the court process they would otherwise go through. Accordingly, there are many benefits for those who are eligible to participate in the program, and individuals facing drug charges should inquire as to whether they are eligible.
Source: Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's, "Pre-trial diversion," accessed on June 19, 2015