The Veterans Treatment Court white paper is projected to be released in early summer 2015.

The Veterans Treatment Court white paper is projected to be released in early summer 2015. 

The intent of this project is to develop a promising practices guide for Veterans Specialty Courts and to create an understanding and awareness of issues specifically relating to combat veterans who enter the criminal justice system. Combat veterans are typically not criminals prior to their military service, and due to exposure to extreme trauma many face challenges acclimating back into society. At times, they may find themselves involved in the criminal justice system. 

NIC project manager staff and consultants for the project initially met with Justice For Vets and mapped out potential sites to be included in the white paper project. NIC reached out to several jurisdictions and selected Veterans Treatment Courts in Buffalo, Rochester, Harris County in Houston, TX, Cook County in Chicago, IL, Colorado Springs in El Paso County, and Orange County in Santa Ana, CA to be included in the project. During our site visits, we have interviewed key stakeholders on the Veterans Treatment Court Teams, including but not limited to judges, prosecutors, defense, mentors, probation, veterans case managers, and veterans court coordinators. This paper hopes to share successes and challenges from the perspectives of each of the key stakeholders and serve as a guide for those jurisdictions looking to implement a Veterans Treatment Court, or for those jurisdictions looking to improve upon an existing program. 

In addition to these sites, the project team has conducted interviews with several individuals who have had a profound impact on the Veterans Treatment Court movement; including Justice For Vets Senior Director Melissa Fitzgerald and Senior Fellow retired Major General Butch Tate, former Congressman Patrick Murphy, and retired Judge David Jordon to name a few. 

We are very excited about the progress for this paper and the impact we hope to have on Veterans Treatment Courts across the country. 

ANNOUNCEMENT:

DC Public Safety Radio Program on Veterans Treatment Courts


The program examined Veteran’s Treatment Courts, a component of the highly successful drug court concept. Veterans Treatment Courts are growing rapidly throughout the United States with early indications of success. 

Guests include:

Greg Crawford is a Correctional Program Specialist, on the Community Services Division, at the National Institute of Corrections. Greg’s work at NIC includes Veterans, Children of Incarcerated Parents, and he also manages the Community Corrections Collaborative Network, a network that represents the leading national and international associations for pretrial, probation, parole and diversion programs.

Actor and activist Melissa Fitzgerald is the Senior Director for Justice for Vets. Melissa may be best known for her 7-year role as Carol on the NBC smash hit The West Wing. Off-screen she is widely recognized as a courageous advocate for people in need; which includes her work as co-founder of Voices in Harmony, a mentoring outreach program that uses theater to work with at-risk teens. She co-executive produced the film Halfway Home that profiles several veterans and their struggles with PTSD which led her to be a champion for veterans and advocates for Veterans Treatment Courts throughout the country.

Bernard Edelman is Deputy Director for Policy and Government Affairs for Vietnam Veterans of America. He edited the ENDURING Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. He was associate producer of the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning documentary feature based on his book; he was co-producer of the documentary short, “Memorial: Letters from American Soldiers,” which was nominated for an Academy Award.

NIC will release a Veterans Treatment Court White Paper in early summer 2015. Please check back if not immediately available. 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

On January 14, 2015, The American Probation & Parole Association and the National Institute of Corrections offered a Veterans Court Workshop in Tampa, Florida highlighting the NIC White Paper; Greg Crawford moderated the workshop, along with Melissa Fitzgerald, Senior Director Justice For Vets, and Bernie Edelman and Dr. Tom Berger from Vietnam Veterans of America serving as presenters.

There will be a Veteran’s Treatment Court Conference in at National Harbor, MD July 27-30, 2015; for more information:


NIC will sponsor a Veterans Treatment Court broadcast on August 26, 2015.

For additional information, contact Greg Crawford at gcrawford@bop.gov.