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Treatment Courts make a difference for veterans

According to information provided by PA Courts InfoShare, Pennsylvania’s veteran population ranks fourth in the U.S. with 814,000 veterans as of 2019.

Since 2009, Pennsylvania’s Veterans Treatment Courts have been assisting veterans who are charged with crimes and are struggling with addiction, mental illness or other co-occurring disorders.

Veterans Treatment Court participants appear before a judge on a regular basis, receive support and guidance from veteran mentors, and receive treatment to address underlying problems often caused by post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2019, 189 veterans graduated from this specialty court, which is a 75 percent successful graduation rate.

In Pennsylvania, 51 of 67 counties currently have treatment courts (Drug, DUI, Mental Health, and/or Veterans Treatment Court) in which veterans can participate if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Additionally, all justice-involved veterans are entitled to a Veteran Justice Outreach program specialist to help them navigate the Veterans Affairs system and get them connected with services available to them.

PRESS PHOTO COURTESY PA COURTS INFOSHARE This “What are Veterans Treatment Courts?” graphic explains how the program works and offers some statistics.