What is the Pretrial Intervention Program?
The Pretrial Intervention Program is a diversion program which is offered to selected offenders as an alternative to prosecution. Participants may receive coordinated assistance in job placement, personal and group counseling, and referrals to other community agencies appropriate to their needs.
What is the Purpose of the Program?
The program is designed to meet the needs of certain non-violent first time offenders in an attempt to deter their future criminal or disorderly behavior; to serve the courts by reducing the number of less serious cases, permitting more time for the more serious crimes, and to protect the community by closely supervising the accused following arrest until final disposition of the case.
Who is Eligible for Participation?
To be eligible for participation in the Pretrial Intervention Program, an individual must meet the following criteria:
- Limited to non-violent crimes;
- First time offenders between the ages of 17-25 (may be waived in certain cases);
- The victim must receive full restitution where required;
- The individual must present no future probable threat of causing physical harm to anyone in the community;
- The individual must acknowledge his/her wrongdoing;
- The individual must show a good faith willingness to participate in the program.
How are Participants Selected?
Staff members of the District Attorney’s Office refer offenders meeting the criteria to the program following a review of the pending charge(s) and the offender’s prior criminal record and history. The offender is given an overview of the program and given the option of participating in the program prior to going to court. The District Attorney makes the final decision as to the acceptability of an offender for the program.
What are the Enrollment Fees?
In order to defray expenses incurred in the application and management of program services, an enrollment fee and supervision fees are required. These fees will be discussed upon a participant’s eligibility for the program.
What Occurs in the Program?
Each participant is assigned a supervisor who will meet with the participant monthly. The goal is to help the offender gain an awareness of the legal and social consequences of criminal behavior. Referrals may be made to community agencies for services such as substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment/counseling. Participants may be required to perform community service and to submit to random drug screens. Referral programs and testing will be at the participant’s expense.
What are the Advantages of Participating in the Program?
Because the presumption of innocence applies to the entire period from arrest through trial, program participation is completely voluntary and the right not to participate is explained to all potential participants. The advantages of participation are:
- Opportunity for self-development and awareness of the consequences of future criminal behavior;
- Avoidance of additional expenses related to future criminal prosecution;
- Avoidance of possible criminal conviction and incarceration and/or fine;
- Opportunity to remain in the community with limited disruption to family life and employment;
- Supervision to aid in deterrence of future criminal behavior;
- Successful completion results in the charge being “dead filed” (no further action is taken on the case);
- Assistance to petition the court for expungement of the arrest record two years following the arrest.
What is Required to Complete the Program Successfully?
Participants must attend all counseling sessions and keep all other appointments that are mutually agreed upon by the participant and supervisor. All participants must be employed or enrolled in school before they can be recommended for satisfactory termination. Restitution, if required, must be paid in full before program completion. A subsequent arrest or violation of program rules will result in the participant’s case being returned for prosecution and the participant forfeits all fees paid into the program.
How Long does a Participant Remain in the Program?
The duration will depend on the seriousness of the offense, the attitude of the participant and how well the participant has met the goals of the program as determined by the participant’s supervisor.
What Happens When a Participant Completes the Program?
When a participant has complied with all requirements of the Pretrial Intervention Program and completes the program satisfactorily, the pending charge is “dead filed”. There is no prosecution or criminal conviction for the charge(s) in question.
|BIENVILLE PARISH||CLAIBORNE PARISH||JACKSON PARISH|
|100 Courthouse Drive||511 West Main Street||500 East Court Ave.|
|Suite 2200||Room 201|
|Arcadia, Louisiana 71001||Homer, Louisiana 71040||Jonesboro, Louisiana 71251|
|Phone: (318) 263-7408||Phone: (318) 927-4862||Phone: (318) 259-4112|
|Fax: (318) 263-7424||Fax: (318) 927-9687||Fax: (318) 259-3024|
HOURS OF OPERATION:
8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Monday through Friday