Veterans Treatment Court

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Veterans Treatment Court is a rehabilitation program designed to address the unique difficulties of justice-involved veterans who have served in combat and returned with unmet behavioral health needs. These veterans suffer from a variety of issues such as homelessness, mental illness, mental disorders, traumatic brain injury, and/or substance use disorder, which can be traced back to their military service and serve as a contributing factor in their felony offense.

The mission of the Veterans’ Court Program is to increase access to mental health and addiction treatment by diverting veterans directly into VA treatment, improving overall mental wellness and providing the structure for a successful re-entry into the community. Similar to the mental health and drug court models, the program balances treatment and accountability, requiring each participant to fulfill court-ordered requirements, attend court regularly and participate in a recovery plan tailored to their specific needs.

Studies have shown that Veteran Court programs are successful in reducing the rate of criminal relapse, with a recidivism rate below 5% nationally. Our role is to assist them as they assimilate back into society through community events, mentoring, and by helping them find services they need.

Our program is powered by the passionate and coordinated efforts of our volunteer veteran mentors, treatment providers, dedicated community partners and jail-diversion team who provide resources aimed to address the unmet needs of our justice-involved veterans on a local, state and federal level.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston and MVPN Houston are involved in the Harris County Veterans Misdemeanor and Felony Courts as well as the Fort Bend Veterans Treatment Court.

 

The goals of the program include:

    1. Diverting veterans from the traditional criminal justice system into an alternative to incarceration program that addresses their specific needs; by
    2. Improving access to medical, mental health and substance abuse treatment; and
    3. Assisting them with other debilitating factors such as unemployment and homelessness;
    4. Improving long-term mental health recovery and community reintegration through involvement in structured, comprehensive treatment.

 

For more information about the Harris County Veterans Court Program: