The Veterans Court is a diversion program for Justice-Involved Veterans (JIV) who are facing prosecution for one or more criminal cases. The program offers JIV a treatment option that is judicially supervised. It is designed to divert JIV out of the traditional criminal justice process and into appropriate treatment/rehabilitative alternatives. Once the JIV has been screened, assessed, and approved for participation in the program, he/she will promptly begin a treatment regimen that is specific to his/her needs
Our programs goals are to find JIV, assess their needs, offer assistance, manage their care, and provide them with successful treatment options, ultimately leading to community reintegration and resolution of their criminal case(s), all while holding each JIV accountable to the consequences of their individual criminal actions.
Our mission is to provide support and rehabilitation opportunities to qualified JIV criminal defendants whose crimes were materially connected to injuries suffered as a result of honorable service in the United States Armed Forces.
Participants will complete a mental health evaluation and assist in developing their individualized treatment plan. A phase system is utilized to measure participant progress. Services for education, counseling, and other needs are provided by outside agencies. Participants are referred to these agencies throughout the program, as needed.
Some program guidelines:
- Supervision Monitoring - In addition to the Veterans Court Probation Officer, a Case Manager will monitor each participant placed in the program. The Case Manager will work closely with the Program Manager and service providers.
- Compliance Hearing - All participants are required to attend monthly compliance hearings. During the hearing, the progress of each participant is reviewed in open court. Both incentives and sanctions are used as methods of motivation.
- Disposition of Court Case - The Veterans Court Diversion Program is typically a 12-to-24 month program. The period directly relates to the participant's needs, level of offense, and/or compliance. Upon successful completion of the program, eligible case(s) are dismissed and expunged (if allowed by law). In the event that program participation is terminated, the case(s) are remanded to the court of origin for sentencing.
- Each participant is subject to a program fee not to exceed $1,000. Participants may be responsible for costs of treatment services including but not limited to drug urinalysis, drug and/or alcohol monitoring devices, evaluations, inpatient/outpatient care, counseling, etc.
- Veteran or current member of the United States Armed Forces, including a member of the Reserves, National Guard, or State Guard;
- Connection between military service and current offense; issues resulting from military service materially affected the JIV's criminal conduct at issue in the case;
- Must NOT have a Dishonorable Discharge;
- Some offenses are not eligible for entry
ACCESS TO THE PROGRAM
Referrals are accepted from a variety of sources, including defense attorneys, family, friends, law enforcement, jail staff, judges, prosecutors, and mental health professionals.
- Once a referral is received, the Program Manager reviews it to ensure the criteria are met and submits the application to the county DA’s office for initial review.
- District Attorney (DA) Approval – Each case/application must be reviewed and approved by the County District Attorney’s Office.
- Following DA review, and if approved, the JIV is scheduled for a face-to-face interview with the Veterans Court treatment team, who will make the final decision for approval.
- The JIV, their attorney and court of origin are notified of the treatment teams decision.
- If approved, the JIV is scheduled to plea into Veterans Court. Each plea takes place in front of Judge Roach and includes transferring the case from the originating court into Veterans Court.