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Implementing Veterans Courts or Programs in the State of Illinois

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2010
100 pages
This manual provides information on implementing veterans courts or programs in the Illinois criminal justice system.
This manual was prepared by the Illinois governor's task force on veterans and servicemembers courts. The manual is intended for use by criminal justice professionals who wish to implement veterans courts or programs within their local criminal justice system. The first section of the manual contains a list of sources with helpful background information, information on how to identify the key stakeholders and players involved with veterans courts and programs, and a set of steps for developing a framework for the programs. The next sections cover important decisions that need to be made once a framework has been established, providing training for all persons involved with the veterans courts or programs, and educating the community once the courts are ready for use. The 10 key components of a drug court are listed in the manual and include 1) drug courts integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice system case processing; 2) a non-adversarial approach is used and prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants' due process rights; and 3) eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program. The manual also includes 13 addendums that cover the Illinois Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act, Senate Bill 902 from the United States Senate and House Bill 2138 from the U.S. House of Representative that established veteran's treatment courts, contact information for the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, contact information for Veteran Justice Outreach Specialists, a copy of the eligibility questionnaire, forms used by both Cook and Madison Counties, a copy of VA Form 10-5345, results of an evaluation of the program established in Cook County, and copies of the St. Clair County drug court defendants' handbook, the drug court manual.