The Combined Anti-Drug Team (C.A.T.) Narcotics Task Force was formed on November 22, 2004 and is a joint effort between the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lake Charles Police Department, Westlake Police Department, DeQuincy Police Department, Vinton Police Department, Iowa Police Department, the United States Marshal’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The purpose of the C.A.T. Task Force is to combine all agencies within the Calcasieu Parish area to form a single unit to identify, target, and dismantle illegal drug and gang organizations.
The Fourteenth Judicial District Office of the District Attorney offers an innovative state-of-the-art pre-trial diversionary referral and educational corrective training program. This pre-charge initiative alternative sanctions program is the first of its kind in Calcasieu Parish. The program's unique features set it apart from other traditional pre-trial intervention programs throughout our state.
The program enables citizens of Calcasieu Parish to simultaneously reduce the ever- increasing crime rate and address the present "corrections crisis" while taking major steps toward improving our entire criminal justice system. The program has a positive impact by emphasizing rehabilitation to reduce recidivism.
"Pre-Trial Diversion gives young offenders the opportunity to have a second chance in life to keep their record clean," said District Attorney Stephen Dwight. "Too often youthful offenders have
ended up with criminal histories when it was not necessary. This prevented them from getting good jobs and leading normal lives. The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Pre-Trial Diversion
program gives them the opportunity to get back into mainstream America and move on with their lives."
It affords citizens the opportunity to address real human needs both for the victim and the offender. The program also reinforces public safety by offering rehabilitation when possible and incarceration when necessary.
The 14th Judicial District Adult Specialty Court Program is a joint endeavor between the Judges of the 14th Judicial District and Calcasieu Parish District Attorney Stephen C. Dwight. The Honorable David A. Ritchie and the Honorable Michael G. Canaday are the presiding Judges over Adult Drug Court and DWI court. The Honorable Robert L. Wyatt and the Honorable Derrick Kee are the presiding judges over Behavioral Health Court and Re-Entry Court. The Honorable David A. Ritchie and the Honorable Kendrick J. Guidry preside over Veterans Treatment Court. The Honorable Tony Fazzio also sits on our Specialty Court Team.
Specialty Court clients are closely monitored by the specialty court team members, and they are subjected to random drug screens and intensive court supervision. The program is designed to help non-violent offenders to get off drugs and to stay off of them. It is funded and supervised by the Louisiana Supreme Court Drug Court Office
Misdemeanor probation cases are assigned by a judge who sentences the defendant to supervised probation with court ordered conditions. Once a defendant is placed on misdemeanor probation by the judge, he is assigned a probation officer with the District Attorney's Misdemeanor Probation Office who monitors his case each month for the terms of their probationary period. Typically, a judge will sentence a person who commits a misdemeanor crime to one or more of the following (depending on their crimes): hours of community service, random drug and alcohol screenings, attendance at a church of the defendant's choice, defensive driving, work toward acquiring their high school equivalency diploma, and/or a fine.
All defendants on misdemeanor probation must pay a monthly fee and visit their probation officer monthly for the entire time they are on probation. Out of Parish/State defendants may be allowed to participate in the program by complying with conditions in their home parish/state and conducting monthly appointments by phone.
If the defendant does not comply with the conditions of their probation, a warrant can be issued for his arrest, and be returned to court for modification of terms of probation or ordered to serve his original sentence.
The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office Early Intervention Program is a cooperative effort between the Office of District Attorney Stephen Dwight and the Calcasieu Parish School System. The program, which started in 2007, targets at-risk elementary school students who are in need of additional assistance with various life issues. The goal of the program is to ensure that these children and their families remain out of the juvenile justice system.
THE REAL WORLD
Turning 18 brings new rights and responsibilities. To help young people make the transition to adulthood, the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office offers a booklet entitled “Welcome to the Real World.” Each year these books are distributed across the parish to all of those students graduating high school.
This program offers young adults a glimpse of the "real world." The booklet covers topics ranging from registering to vote to signing contracts, including information about jury duty, military service, apartments and many laws that apply to young adults. It contains straight talk about drinking, gambling, illegal drugs, credit and consumer protection—and how the law treats adults.