Most veterans come home from service and are able to live their lives normally and are very productive in society. However, when some veterans return from combat, some turn to drugs and/or alcohol to help cope with their experience on the forefront. Unfortunately, too many veterans end up in the general criminal justice system as a result of their service. Veterans Treatment Courts give our veterans the opportunity to be able to restore their military honor and their commitment to family and community, all while giving understanding and empathy for what a service man or woman needs.
The first Veterans Treatment Court was created in 2008 in a response to the growing number of veterans who are addicted to drugs, alcohol and/or suffering from a mental illness. Following the creation of the Court, Judge Russell and his team were inundated by requests from courts, elected officials and veterans service organizations, witnessing the same increases around the country of veterans entering the criminal justice system.
What are Veterans Treatment Centers
When you sign up for the military, you are a part of a new family, a family that has roots that run deep. Veterans have many shared experiences, a lot that are not common among civilians. Traditional community services may not be suited to meet all the distinct needs of veterans in the criminal justice system.
In Veterans Treatment Courts, those men and women who served in our Armed Forces are able to go through a treatment court process with fellow veterans and are connected to the federal, state and local services that are specially designed for the district needs that arise from military services.
Veterans Treatment Courts follow the drug court model. Participants will receive first class treatment and other services they require to get back on track and lead constructive lives, while being held accountable by a judge for meeting all obligations to society, themselves and their families. All service men and women are regularly and randomly tested for alcohol/drug use, required to appear frequently in court for a judge to review their progress, and immediately receive rewards for doing well and alternatively, sanctions for not living up to their obligations.
Who Can Participate in a Veterans Treatment Court
Veterans Treatment Courts involve assistance with traditional partners found in Drug and Mental Health Courts, with additional assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (Veterans Justice Outreach), Veterans Benefit Administration, state department/agencies of veterans affairs.
Veterans Treatment Court are also supported by the Vet Center, veterans service organizations, volunteer veteran mentors, and other veteran support organizations.
Veterans of the United States may be eligible for a broad range of programs and services provided by the federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits are legislated in Title 38 of the United States Code. Veterans may also be eligible for specific programs and or benefits through their states’ veterans agency to include other agencies due to their veteran’s status.
Most veterans who enter into the civilian criminal justice system are unaware of their eligibility in VA programs and services. Nevada Veterans Alliance will provide additional expertise in navigating the filling and/or appealing of a claim, peer support and guidance.