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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Community Alternatives Program (CAP)

The Community Alternatives Program (CAP) helps defendants with mental illness at Municipal Court receive treatment, services and support to get legal charges resolved.

CAP Goals

Our goal is to address behavior that has commonly landed people in jail, by connecting program participants with needed treatment, and community services.

For Social Service Providers

If you are a provider of social services (ACT, FACT, ICM, etc.) and one of your consumers is arrested on a Municipal charge or State Misdemeanor, please contact CAP as soon as possible.  We cannot guarantee that the consumer will be able to participate in CAP, but we can evaluate him/her for program eligibility.

If your consumer is not eligible or appropriate for CAP, we can help connect you to his/her legal advocates (usually the Orleans Public Defender’s office).  The sooner we hear from you, the better able we will be to help your consumer. 

Please contact Byrne Sherwood by phone at 658-2568 or 373-7597 or by e-mail at

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who can be in CAP

In order to be a part of CAP you must:

  • Be a defendant at the New Orleans Municipal Court
  • Be currently charged with a nonviolent offense
  • Have a mental illness or a personality disorder


As a part of CAP you can get:

  • Mental health treatment
  • Substance abuse treatment and counseling
  • Help finding a home
  • Charges dropped after successfully graduating from the program

What to expect

For most people, the program will last 6 months. As a CAP participant you should know:

You do not need to plead guilty; prosecution will be stopped
You will have regular meetings with the court every 2 to 4 weeks
You may leave the program at any time.
If you leave the program or are asked to leave for not following the rules, your charges may not be dropped
If you successfully graduate from the program, the charges for your case will be dropped
Joining the program is optional and voluntary.

Three areas of focus

1) Working with a case manager to make a treatment plan.
This plan may include:

  • Working on life skills 
  • Going to doctor’s appointments
  • Meeting with a support group
  • Taking medication.

2) Staying on track with all court requirements. 
3) Having an open and honest relationship with program staff. This is a team effort - we want you to be a part of this program!

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Last updated: 1/29/2016 8:55:13 AM

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