Veterans Treatment Court: Serving Those Who Have Served Us
By Irv Condon, Judge of Probate Court, Charleston County
Charleston County Probate Court provides many services for our citizens. One such service is the Veterans Treatment Court. As stated by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, “we Americans should keep in mind the enduring debt we owe our country’s military. While the news reminds us daily of the dangers our service members confront in combat, the serious challenges facing our vets are when they return home, especially substance abuse and psychological health issues. Often, they go untreated. Sadly, these challenges can sometimes lead to criminal or other destructive behaviors. Findings from a recent Justice Department survey show that approximately sixty percent of the 140,000 veterans in State and Federal prisons were struggling with a substance abuse disorder.” About twenty five percent reported being under the influence of drugs at the time of their offense.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, “many of these issues can be connected to the trauma of combat and other service-related experiences; and, for this reason, require appropriate measures to address them. Veterans Treatment Courts are designed to do just that, by meeting the specific needs of veterans involved in the criminal justice system.”
The Office further notes: “Veterans Treatment Courts seek to treat veterans suffering from substance abuse and/or a mental health disorder while helping ensure public safety. These special courts, known as problem-solving courts, combine rigorous treatment and personal accountability with the goal of breaking the cycle of drug use and criminal behavior.
Veterans Treatment Courts are modeled after drug courts, which promote collaboration among the judiciary, community corrections agencies, drug treatment providers, and other community support groups. Drug courts have a remarkable track record over the course of their two decade history. During difficult economic times for both local and state governments, drug courts still prove to be a smart, cost-effective investment that helps put offenders on the road to recovery, effectively reducing recidivism.
Veterans Treatment Courts promote sobriety, recovery, and stability through a coordinated response involving the customary partners found in drug courts and mental health courts, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs’ healthcare networks, the Veterans Benefits Administration, State Departments of Veterans Affairs, volunteer veteran mentors, and veterans family support organizations.
Our coordinator for Veterans Treatment Court is Hollen Sellers. She can be reached at 843.958.5186 or email@example.com.
Thank you to each of you who have served our country. Please let me know if I may ever help you. My direct office number is 843.958.5193, my mobile is 843.817.2039 or please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org .