Blake P. Kavanagh
The first veteran’s court opened in Buffalo, N.Y. in 2008. The veteran’s court model is based on drug treatment and/or mental health treatment courts. Substance abuse or mental health treatment is offered as an alternative to incarceration. Typically, veteran mentors assist with the programs. An important issue that has to be addressed is the eligibility for veteran’s courts in terms of whether charges involving felonies or crimes of violence will be allowed. The inclusion of offenders charged with inter-family violence is also of grave concern to policy makers.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs counted 461 veteran-focused court programs in the U.S. as of June 30, 2016. Of the 461 programs, 116 were created in 2015. This fact sheet contains these facts and more data from the 2016 census.
The Spokane Veterans Forum (SVF) holds monthly meetings where veterans share a meal and attend educational or therapeutic programs. All of the veterans referred from regional Veterans Enhanced Therapeutic Courts at the Spokane County District Court, including those from Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties, attend the monthly meetings. The SVF website provides reference materials used for the monthly forums and includes a link to their 2017 Mentor Handbook.
(September 2016) The Department of Justice announced over $4 million in grants to veteran's courts. Awardees include: Kansas 10th Judicial District Court; the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Louisiana; Roseau County and Anoka County, both in Minnesota; Miami-Dade County, Florida; City of Norfolk, Virginia, Community Service Board; the Judiciary Courts of the State of Montana; Missouri 22nd Judicial Circuit, St. Louis City Drug Court; the Riverside, California, County Probation Department and the Superior Court of California, County of Solano; Denton County, Texas; La Crosse, Wisconsin, Area Veterans Court; and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
(May 2015). NCSC. This is the first set of performance measures specifically designed for Veterans Treatment Courts and they are designed to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Pennsylvania's Veterans Treatment Courts.
This article discusses the growing number of veterans with a history of mental illness or substance abuse have been appearing in courts and how courts have begun to develop and implement veterans treatment courts to help veterans get their lives back on track.
A review of state legislation dealing with veterens' courts.
A guide for veterans on starting and owning their own business, with links to various resources for support.
In 2012, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs conducted an inventory of veterans courts, dockets, and programs, and tracks and found that Veteran Justice Outreach (VJO) Specialists were active in all 168 such entities as of December 2012.
Nebraska Supreme Court Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation. With the assistance of NCSC, Nebraska developed these best practices despite the relative infancy of veterans treatment courts.
This manual provides a description of the veterans’ court process for veterans who may be eligible.
Indiana Veteran’s courts and all other problem solving courts are required to be certified by the Indiana Judicial Center.
This guide provides information on eligibility, referral process, and scheduling of hearings.
This program trains volunteer mentors to coach, guide and act as role models for veterans.