Eight adult defendants from the 23rd Judicial District Attorney Narcotics Diversion Program recently graduated from the program, District Attorney Ricky Babin said.

Babin said the program was implemented in 2019 to target the needs of nonviolent people who suffer from drug addiction. The program is funded by Ascension Parish government and led by Assistant District Attorneys Charles “Chuck” Long and Robin O’Bannon.

During the course, offenders are required to maintain sobriety, steady employment,and follow rigorous guidelines implemented on a case-by-case basis to provide the needs of each offender. "It has been proven that rehabilitation is more effective than incarceration for individuals who suffer from addiction," according to a news release from Babin's office.

Babin thanked the 23rd Judicial District Court Judges, Sheriff’s Office personnel, Ascension Parish Council and Parish President Clint Cointment for making the program possible.