Veterans Treatment Court

Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) are specialized court programs designed to address the unique needs of military veterans who have become involved in the criminal justice system. These courts aim to divert veterans with substance abuse or mental health issues away from traditional criminal proceedings and provide them with access to treatment, support, and resources.

The key features of Veterans Treatment Courts include:

  1. Focus on veterans: Veterans Treatment Courts specifically cater to individuals who have served in the military. These courts recognize the challenges faced by veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, substance abuse disorders, and other mental health issues resulting from their military service.
  2. Collaborative approach: Veterans Treatment Courts involve collaboration among various stakeholders, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) representatives, treatment providers, and veteran mentors. This collaboration ensures that participants receive comprehensive and coordinated care, with all parties working together to support their recovery and rehabilitation.
  3. Treatment and support services: Veterans Treatment Courts focus on providing access to specialized treatment programs for veterans. This may include substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, trauma-informed therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and other services tailored to address the specific needs of veterans. Additionally, participants are connected with various support services, including housing assistance, employment resources, VA benefits, and veterans’ organizations.
  4. Judicial supervision and accountability: Judges in Veterans Treatment Courts oversee the progress and compliance of participants with the treatment program. Regular court hearings are conducted where the judge reviews participants’ progress, provides guidance, and imposes sanctions or incentives based on their adherence to the program requirements. The judge plays a supportive role while holding participants accountable for their actions.
  5. Veteran mentors: Veterans Treatment Courts often include the involvement of volunteer veteran mentors. These mentors, who may have successfully completed the program themselves, provide guidance, support, and encouragement to participants. They serve as positive role models and can relate to the unique experiences and challenges faced by veterans.
  6. Graduated sanctions and incentives: Similar to other specialized courts, Veterans Treatment Courts utilize a system of graduated sanctions and incentives to encourage participants’ compliance with the treatment program. Sanctions for non-compliance may include increased reporting requirements, community service, or brief periods of jail time, while incentives can involve reduced supervision, praise, or access to additional resources.


The primary goal of Veterans Treatment Courts is to provide veterans with an alternative to traditional criminal proceedings and offer them the support and treatment they need to address underlying issues and achieve successful reintegration into society. By addressing the specific challenges faced by veterans, these courts aim to reduce recidivism rates, improve the well-being of participants, and promote long-term recovery and stability for veterans involved in the criminal justice system.