What is Re-Entry Court?
Re-Entry Court is a specialized program created to address the “revolving door” of felony offenders in Louisiana. The program, known as the Offender Rehabilitation and Workforce Development Program, is available to those who are facing up to 10 years of incarceration for non-violent, non-sex crimes. Typically, the participant has multiple felony convictions and a history of substance abuse. Those who are selected for participation in Re-Entry Court will spend a minimum of two years at Angola State Prison where they will be paired with a mentor who will support and guide them. The mentors are specially selected “lifers” who have a received a Divinity degree while in Angola.
The participants are housed in a special dorm and kept separate from the general population. They undergo intensive substance abuse treatment, obtain a high school equivalency degree, and are trained in skilled labor, such as welding, HVAC, and auto mechanics. They also receive life skills training and have access to online college programs.
Upon successful completion of the incarceration phase of the program, the offenders are released on a strictly supervised probation status. There are four phases of release. As the participants graduate from one stage to another, the supervision requirements lessen. The first phase includes weekly court appearances, frequent and random drug testing, GPS monitoring, frequent contact with the case manager and probation officer as well as continued substance abuse and life skills counseling.
The goal of Re-Entry Court is to reduce the recidivism rate by helping those with substance abuse problems to gain sobriety, receive an education and job training. These accomplishments allow participants to live successful in the community.To date, the program has been successfully statewide with recidivism rates as low as 3% for program participants.
Defendants who are interested in more information about the Re-entry Court Program
available in the Fourth Judicial District, serving Morehouse and Ouachita Parishes, should have their attorney contact the District Attorney’s Office at (318) 388-4720.