Breaking the Cycle
Veterans Treatment Courts are now filling a need that previously would have been dealt with in quite a different setting. With many of our nation’s Veterans suffering the effects of having served and seen combat, the ways these Veterans process and react to these stressors vary. Veteran Treatment Courts lead to the placement of offenders who are suffering with issues such as PTSD, TBI and MST, substance abuse, or any mental health problem, in to VA counseling and treatment programs rather than jail or prison.
Through a joint venture between the VA and county Superior Courts, District Attorney’s Offices, and Public Defender’s Offices, Veterans Courts are now trying to shift veterans from punishment to treatment instead, with an emphasis on problem-solving vs. punitive treatment.
Veterans Courts promote sobriety, recovery, and stability, thereby offering a hand-up to those who have served and sacrificed.
It is critical to attend all hearings on time, even if you don’t have a lawyer yet or don’t have all the paperwork you need. You may be able to request a continuance in order to finalize your legal representation and review your situation with Veterans Court.
Make sure your veteran status has been disclosed to your Public Defender or Attorney., otherwise they may not know that you qualify to have your case transfered to a veteran court.
You will have regular contact with the Judge, Public Defender/Attorney, VA Case Managers, Mentors, etc. Rulings are based on your performance, which are directly communicated to the Judge, who rewards progress or penalizes noncompliance.
If you’re willing to put in the work, Veteran Treatment Courts can secure a brighter future for veterans who need help, not punishment.