TDVA Veterans Treatment Court Presentation

Report
Veterans Treatment Courts
MISSION
To serve Tennessee Veterans and their family
members with dignity and compassion as an
entrusted advocate.
VISION
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To connect Veterans, dependents and survivors with federal, state and
local employment, educational and financial resources as well as
benefits.
To establish state Veterans homes and cemeteries within a 75 mile
radius of the state’s Veteran population.
To ensure Tennessee court systems are educated on the need for Veteran
dockets and to ensure at-risk Veterans are educated on federal health
benefits.
To establish innovative secure streamlined processes and program to
provide high-quality customer service to Veterans and their families.
To provide claims assistance training to TDVA employees and County
Service Officers to ensure Veterans and family members receive highly
qualified, updated and consistent service.
Tennessee Veteran Statistics
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Veteran Population – 521,267
• Wartime – 383,913
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World War II – 25,095
Korean Conflict – 48,546
Vietnam Era – 184,469
Gulf War – 146,724
• Peacetime – 137,353
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Includes Veterans who have served in multiple conflicts
Problems That Sometimes Occur After Deployment
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Depression (feeling down, losing interest, lack of energy)
Suicidal thoughts and/or suicide (thinking or hurting/killing him
or herself)
Violence and abuse (verbal or physical, heated arguments)
Substance abuse (self medications, excessive drinking or
drinking in the morning to calm nerves)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
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Per the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
(USDVA), PTSD occurs:
• 11-20% of Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars
(Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom) or 11-20
Veterans out of 100
• 10% of Gulf War (Desert Storm) Veterans or in 10
Veterans out of 100
• 30% of Vietnam Veterans or about 30 out of 100
Vietnam Veterans
What is a Veterans Treatment Court (VTC)?
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Specialized court/dockets established to address the needs
of Veteran-defendants with substance dependency and/or
mental illness issues
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A group of primarily volunteers partnered to assist Veterandefendants with obtaining available resources
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A voluntary program that offers arrested/convicted Veterans
a second chance to restore their honor
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Primarily for Veterans charged with a non-violent felony or
misdemeanor offense
Components of a VTC
Defense Counsel
Veteran
Prosecution
TDVA
Veteran Mentor
USDVA
State DOL
Dept of Health/
Recovery Court
CVSO
Judge and Court Staff
Components of a VTC
Veteran
• Judge – presides over the hearing where rewards are given for
successful behavior and sanctions are ordered for failure to meet
program requirements
Judge and Court Staff
Components of a VTC
Defense Counsel
Veteran
Prosecution
• To facilitate the Veterans’ progress in treatment, the prosecutor and
defense counsel shed their traditional adversarial courtroom relationship
and work together as a team. Once a Veteran is accepted into the
treatment program, the team’s focus is on the Veteran’s recovery and
law-abiding behavior, not on the merits of the pending case
Components of a VTC
Veteran
USDVA
• Veterans’ Justice Outreach Liaison – Federal VA employee responsible
for assessment, and case management for justice-involved Veterans in
local courts and jails as well as serving as a liaison with local justice system
partners
Components of a VTC
Veteran
TDVA
State DOL
CVSO
• State and County agencies who are accredited with the federal VA and
are trained professionals who assist Veterans with obtaining federal and
state benefits as well as resources to include jobs and job training, and
education assistance
Components of a VTC
Veteran
Veteran Mentor
• Community volunteers assumed duties as a Veteran Mentor. Veteran
Mentors work to ensure that every participating veteran in the Veterans
Treatment Court program is linked with a fellow veteran who acts
as a volunteer mentor, advocate, and ally to help the Veteran participants
successfully readjust to civilian life.
• Their active & supportive relationship, maintained throughout treatment,
increases the likelihood that a Veteran will remain in treatment and improves
his or her chances for sobriety and law-abiding behavior.
Current VTC or Dockets in Tennessee
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Shelby County – (NSA Memphis)
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Montgomery County – (Ft. Campbell, KY)
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Nashville/Davidson County (Docket)
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Knox County
House Joint Resolution No. 124
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To Honor Tennessee’s Veterans and service members and urge the
establishment of Veterans Treatment Courts across Tennessee
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Applaud Tennessee Judges for creating existing Veterans Treatment
Courts/dockets
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Strongly urge the Tennessee Supreme Court to:
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Educate Tennessee Judges the importance of providing
assistance to justice-involved Veterans
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Take appropriate measures to support the creation of new
Veterans Treatment Courts
Funding for a VTC?

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