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Veterans Treatment Courts: 2015 Survey Results

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2016
56 pages
The methodology and findings are reported for a survey to determine the number of veteran treatment courts (VTCs) operating as either independent programs or as tracks within existing drug courts, the characteristics of VTCs and their participants, as well as implementation issues faced by VTCs.
The survey had 14 components to be completed by relevant practitioners within VTC programs. The survey was sent to the drug court judge and coordinator of each of the approximately 1,450 drug courts listed in the American University's Justice Programs Office's (AU-JPO's) Drug Court Database. Those receiving the survey were requested to pass it on to VTCs operating within the same jurisdiction. This report provides an overview of the 129 VTC programs that responded to the survey. Survey results indicate that VTCs are following appropriate program-length recommendations, dividing their program into phases and maintaining key programmatic documents, including policy and procedure manuals in accordance with Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards. In addition, survey responses showed that these programs are developing public and private relationships that facilitate services to VTC participants and improve their sustainability through alternative funding sources. The characteristic therapeutic orientation of these VTCs has led to an emphasis on substance abuse issues, mental health problems, and service-related injuries. Mentor programs are also part of VTC efforts to serve participants. Areas needing improvement include management information systems/data collection, program evaluation, defense counsel, medication assisted treatment, co-occurring disorder training, and the development of alumni groups. The report includes advice to jurisdictions planning a VTC program. 82 notes and appended list of responding programs, applicable State statutes, relevant case law, and 10 key components of VTCs